An Analysis of the EU Organic Sector

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An Analysis of the EU Organic Sector
An analysis of the
EU organic sector
June 2010
Page blanche
European Commission
Directorate-General for Agriculture
And Rural Development
An analysis of the EU
organic sector
June 2010
ii
Table of content
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY................................................................................................. 1
INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................... 5
1.
DYNAMICS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ORGANIC SECTOR................ 7
1.1. Major evolution of organic area in the EU........................................................ 7
1.2. Holdings involved in the organic sector.......................................................... 14
2.
ANALYSIS OF MAIN CROP AND ANIMAL SECTORS..................................... 23
2.1. Breakdown of the organic area by crop type................................................... 23
2.2. Animal sector .................................................................................................. 33
3.
PROCESSING AND MARKETING OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS......................... 39
3.1. Processors of organic products........................................................................ 39
3.2. Retail sales of organic products....................................................................... 40
4.
EU POLICIES AND ORGANIC AGRICULTURE................................................. 47
4.1. Measures targeted at the organic sector .......................................................... 47
4.2. Other forms of support .................................................................................... 54
4.3. Analysis of payment received by organic holdings on the basis of FADN
data .................................................................................................................. 55
5.
CONCLUDING COMMENTS................................................................................. 59
6.
STATISTICAL SOURCES AND REFERENCES................................................... 63
STATISTICAL ANNEX................................................................................................... 67
List of tables
Table 1. Average economic size and distribution of organic and conventional holdings ....... 20
Table 2. Age distribution of farm managers in 2007 (percent)................................................ 22
Table 3. Main categories of organic land in the EU-15 ('000 ha and %) ............................... 23
Table 4. Land use categories in total agriculture / organic sectors in 2006 (%) .................... 24
Table 5. Major uses of organic area in 2006 ('000 ha and %) per Member State .................. 25
iii
Table 6. Evolution of animals under organic production in the EU-15 (mio heads) .............. 34
Table 7. Number of certified processors of organic products in 2007 .................................... 40
Table 8. Significance of the organic sector in food consumption ............................................ 41
Table 9. Major organic products on the market (% share of total organic sales)................... 45
Table 10. Average subsidies received by conventional and organic farms (2000-2007) ........ 57
Table 11. Agricultural area in the organic sector in the EU ................................................... 68
Table 12. Number of organic producers in the EU.................................................................. 69
List of graphs
Graph 1. Area under organic cultivation in the EU (mio ha) .................................................... 7
Graph 2. Organic area in the Member States in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2008 ('000 ha)............ 8
Graph 3. Evolution of the share of the organic area in the UAA in the EU (%)........................ 9
Graph 4. Share of the organic area in the UAA in the EU-27, 2008 (%) .................................. 9
Graph 5. Estimated annual area entering the in-conversion process in the EU (ha) .............. 10
Graph 6. Comparison between certified organic area and area in-conversion (mio ha)........ 11
Graph 7. Share of the in-conversion area in total organic area (%) updated ES.................... 12
Graph 8. Evolution of the area and number of holdings involved in the organic sector ......... 14
Graph 9. Evolution of the number of organic holdings in the EU (’000) ................................ 15
Graph 10. Number of organic holdings in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2008................................... 16
Graph 11. New, exiting and other organic producers in eight Member States (%)................. 16
Graph 12. Average level of new producers and of producers leaving the organic sector ....... 18
Graph 13. Average UAA of organic and non organic holdings (ha) in 2007 .......................... 19
Graph 14. Employment of labour per area in the EU (AWU / 100 ha, 2007).......................... 21
Graph 15. Comparison of age distribution of managers in the organic & non organic sector22
Graph 16. Breakdown of utilised agricultural area in the organic sector in 2006.................. 24
Graph 17. Share of the organic area in total EU area by crop sectors (2006, %) .................. 26
Graph 18. Area under permanent pastures and green fodder in 2006 (ha)............................. 27
iv
Graph 19. Organic cereal area in 2007 (ha) ........................................................................... 27
Graph 20. EU oilseed organic area in 2008 (ha)..................................................................... 28
Graph 21. Organic dried pulse area in 2007 (ha).................................................................... 29
Graph 22. Organic vegetable area in the EU in 2007 (ha)...................................................... 29
Graph 23. Major permanent crops (ha and % of EU total) in 2006 (source Eurostat)........... 30
Graph 24. Citrus organic area in Greece, Italy and Spain (ha) .............................................. 31
Graph 25. Organic vineyard area in the EU-15 (ha)............................................................... 32
Graph 26. Organic olive area in Greece, Italy and Spain (ha)................................................ 33
Graph 27. Share of the organic sector in animal sub-sectors (% of total herd, 2007) ............ 34
Graph 28. Number of certified cattle in 2007 (heads).............................................................. 35
Graph 29. Number of certified dairy cows in the EU in 2007 (heads)..................................... 36
Graph 30. Number of certified organic pigs in 2007 (heads) .................................................. 36
Graph 31. Number of certified organic sheep in 2007 (heads)................................................ 37
Graph 32. Number of certified organic goats in 2007 (heads) ................................................ 38
Graph 33. Number of certified organic poultry and laying hens in 2007 (heads) ................... 38
Graph 34. Number of certified processors of organic products in the EU-15 ......................... 39
Graph 35. Evolution of the retail organic food sales in France, Germany and the UK .......... 42
Graph 36. Share of domestic production and imports in organic food consumption (%) ....... 43
Graph 37. Significance of major retail channels of the organic food market (%) ................... 44
Graph 38. Average agri-environment support "organic commitment" 2002-2006 (€/ha)....... 49
Graph 39. Share of organic area benefitting from agri-environment support......................... 49
Graph 40. Coverage of agri-environment support (% of total organic area).......................... 52
Graph 41. Specialist field crops: average UAA of organic and conventional holdings .......... 71
Graph 42. Specialists field crops: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007) ..... 72
Graph 43. Specialists horticulture: average UAA of organic and conventional holdings....... 72
Graph 44. Specialists horticulture: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007) ... 73
Graph 45. Specialists permanent crops: average UAA of organic & conventional holdings.. 73
v
Graph 46. Specialists permanent crops: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha) ..... 74
Graph 47. Specialists grazing livestock: average UAA of organic & conventional holdings . 74
Graph 48. Specialists grazing livestock: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha) ..... 75
Graph 49. Specialists granivore: average UAA of organic and conventional holdings .......... 75
Graph 50. Specialists granivore: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007) ...... 76
Graph 51. Mixed cropping: average UAA of organic and conventional holdings in 2007 ..... 76
Graph 52. Mixed cropping: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)............... 77
Graph 53. Mixed livestock: average UAA of organic and conventional holdings ................... 77
Graph 54. Mixed livestock: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007) ............... 78
Graph 55. Mixed crops and livestock: average UAA of organic and conventional holdings .. 78
Graph 56. Mixed crops and livestock: employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha) ........ 79
List of figures
Figure 1. Share of the organic area in the total UAA in 2007 at regional level (%)............... 13
List of acronyms and abbreviations
AEM
Agri-environment measures
AWU
Annual work unit
Bio
Billion
BMELV
Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of
Germany
CAP
Common Agricultural Policy
DG AGRI
European Commission, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural
Development
EAFRD
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
EC
European Community
ESU
European Size Unit
EU
European Union
EU-10
Member States which joined the EU in May 2004
vi
EU-12
EU-10, Romania and Bulgaria
EU-15
Member States which joined the EU before 2004
EU-25
EU-15 and EU-10
FADN
Farm Accounting Data Network
FSS
Farm Structure Survey
Ha
Hectare
Kg
Kilogramme
LFA
Less Favoured Area
MAFEWM
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
of Austria
Mio
Million
PO
Producer Organisation
SAPS
Single Area Payment Scheme
SGM
Standard Gross Margin
UAA
Utilised Agricultural Area
Member State abbreviations
AT
BE
BG
CY
CZ
DE
DK
EE
EL
ES
FI
FR
HU
IE
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Germany
Denmark
Estonia
Greece
Spain
Finland
France
Hungary
Ireland
IT
LT
LU
LV
MT
NL
PL
PT
SE
SK
SI
RO
UK
Italy
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Latvia
Malta
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Sweden
Slovakia
Slovenia
Romania
United Kingdom
vii
viii
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Few highlights on the EU organic sector
•
The organic sector amounts to an estimated 7.6 mio ha in 2008, i.e. 4.3% of EU-27
utilised agricultural area (UAA). In the period 2000-2008, the average annual rate
of growth was 6.7% in the EU-15 and 20.0% in the EU-12;
•
The area under organic agriculture is close to or higher than 9% of the total UAA
in five Member States: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Austria (15.5%) and
Sweden;
•
In 2008, it is estimated that there were about 197 000 holdings involved in organic
agriculture in the EU-27, i.e. 1.4% of all EU-27 holdings (0.6% in the EU-12 and
2.9% in the EU-15);
•
Consumer food demand grows at a fast pace in the largest EU markets, yet the
organic sector does not represent more than 2% of total food expenses in the EU15 in 2007. In the EU-12 organic food consumption stands at lower levels.
The area under organic agriculture has increased significantly in the last years. In the
period 2000-2008, the total organic area has increased from 4.3 to an estimated
7.6 mio ha (+7.4% per year). The speed of the growth has been most spectacular for the
EU-12 where the area has jumped from 0.34 to 1.46 mio ha (+20.0% per year) whereas,
in the same period, the area increased from 4.0 to 6.2 mio ha in the EU-15, at a more
reduced average rate of 5.7% per year. The EU-15 represents 80.9% of total EU organic
area in 2008. In absolute terms, the Member States with the largest areas in 2008 are
Spain (1.13 mio ha), Italy (1.00 mio ha), Germany (0.91 mio ha), the United Kingdom
(0.72 mio ha) and France (0.58 mio ha). Altogether they represent 56.8% of the EU
organic area.
In the EU-27 organic areas amounted to an estimated 4.3% of the UAA in 2008.
Corresponding figures for the EU-12 and EU-15 were 2.8 and 4.9%. Whereas the growth
of the share of the organic area in the EU-15 seemed to slow down in 2003 and 2004, it
has resumed in the last four years (2005-2008). The EU-12 has experienced a dynamic
increase, with a sharp increase in 2005 that can be attributed to the accession to the EU.
With a share of 15.5%, Austria is the Member State where the importance of the organic
sector in the total UAA is the highest. Sweden and Estonia follow with 10.9% each. The
Czech Republic and Latvia are at a par with 9.0 and 8.9% respectively.
It is estimated that in 2008 there were about 197 000 holdings involved in the organic
sector in the EU-27, i.e. 2.9% of all holdings in the EU-15 but a mere 0.6% in the EU-12.
In the EU-27, the share of organic holdings is 1.4% of the total number of farms. At
Member State level, it varies between the cases of Bulgaria and Romania where it is
below 0.1% and Austria where it stands at 12.2%.
1
The average size of organic farms is larger than of the average of all farms (13 ha for the
average farm in the EU-27 and 38 ha for organic farms, according to the Farm Structure
Survey). In addition, organic farm managers are younger than non organic farm
managers: 56% of conventional farmers are older than 55 whereas it is the case of only
36% of organic farmers.
The analysis of annual data on the numbers of organic producers shows that there is a
sizeable turnover of producers entering and leaving the organic sector. These levels
fluctuate among Member States depending on the dynamics of development of the
sector. While the proportion of new producers can be high in times of development of
the sector (e.g. as currently in the EU-12), the proportion of producers leaving the sector
can also be sizeable reflecting a certain fragility of the sector.
Permanent grassland represents 47.1% of the whole organic area and arable crops
(excluding green fodder) only 23.2% in 2006. This is quite different from the overall
agricultural sector where the corresponding figures are 30.3 and 48.9% of the utilised
agricultural area. The higher level of permanent pastures in the organic sector stems from
the more extensive production systems employed. There are also marked differences of
land use in the organic sector between the EU-12 and the EU-15. The significance of
arable crops and of permanent pastures and green fodder is higher in the EU-12 than in
the EU-15. Conversely, whereas horticulture represents 10.7% of the organic area in the
EU-15 it is only 3.4% in the EU-12.
Among arable crops, cereals represent the most important category with 1.2 mio ha in
2007, i.e. 18.3% of all EU organic land. The largest producers are Italy and Germany.
The vegetable sector amounts to slightly more than 90 000 ha (1.4% of the total organic
area), it is mainly located in the EU-15. EU organic permanent crops amount to
0.55 mio ha (8.3% of total organic area), the largest part located in six Member States
(Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, France and Portugal).
For animal production the organic sector tends to develop faster for the species which
can be fed on the basis of grassland and roughage (cattle, sheep and goats) whereas for
pigs and poultry feeding is a more complicated operation since grain and protein rich
feedstuffs are necessary. Hence, in 2007 2.7% of the cattle herd is organic in the EU. For
sheep and goats, the corresponding shares are 3.5 and 5.0% respectively. On the other
hand, only 0.5% of the EU pig herd is raised organically.
In 2007 there were 2.4 mio heads of certified bovine animals, the largest producers being
Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Italy. Germany is the largest dairy producer
with more than 0.1 mio cows. However, the Member States with the largest share of
certified organic cows in the total number of cows are Austria (15.6%), Denmark (9.6%)
and Italy (3.2%). The organic pig herd amounted to 0.9 mio head in 2007, the largest
producer is Germany with almost 0.2 mio heads. The ovine sector is dominated by two
Member States, Italy and the United Kingdom, which stand at a par with each 0.85 mio
animals in 2007, representing together 52% of the entire EU organic herd
(3.4 mio heads). In the poultry sector, there were 19 mio heads in 2007, of which 6 mio
in France, the leading Member State.
In 2007 there were an estimation of about 33 800 certified processors of organic products
in the EU, of which 1 000 in the EU-12 and 32 800 for the EU-15. Without information
on the turnover of the sector it is difficult to weigh the importance of the processing
2
sector in the two parts of the EU. However the ratio of the number of processors over
total organic producers is much higher in the EU-15 (0.21) than in the EU-12 (0.04).
This confirms that the processing sector lags behind the development of organic
agricultural production in the EU-12 in comparison with the EU-15.
Organic food expenses in the retail sector in the EU-15 reached in 2006/2007
€14.4 billion, of which more than 80% in four Member States only: Germany, the United
Kingdom, France and Italy. The organic food market is sizeable in Austria (almost 5% of
the food market) and in Germany, Denmark and Luxembourg (where it stands within
3.7-3.8%). In the EU-12 Member States the weight of the organic sector in food
consumption is much lower, below 0.2% for most and reaching the maximum of 0.5% in
the Czech Republic. In these Member States the main constraint to market growth is the
purchasing power of the consumers. Overall, organic food consumption increases
dynamically in the EU. On the four largest EU markets (Germany, the United Kingdom
and France) the increases are impressive: average annual increase of 18.1% for France in
the period 2005-2009, 14.0% for Germany in the period 2000-2008, 8.7% in Italy in the
period 2001-2009 and 11.9% for the United Kingdom in the period 2000-2008. The
economic recession in 2009 has affected organic food consumption in the United
Kingdom (fall by 13.6%) whereas the market would have been stable in Germany and
still growing in France and Italy.
Multiple anecdotal evidence and aggregate figures indicate that the growth of demand
for organic products in the EU outpaces the growth of supply by the organic agri-food
sector. In these conditions, it is no surprise that trade between Member States and
imports from third countries would increase at a fast pace. Intra-EU trade and imports
from third countries would represent an important part of domestically consumed
organic products in most Member States.
Within rural development programmes, specific support to the organic sector is provided
with the agri-environmental measures. In 2005, public support commitment for agrienvironment measures amounted to €3.83 billion in the EU-25, of which €0.66 billion
were devoted to organic agriculture (17.2%). A sizeable part of the area under organic
production in the EU benefits from the organic-specific support provided with agrienvironment measures. In the period 2004-2006 this was the case of 46% of the organic
area in the EU-25. However, this varies significantly between Member States with more
than 90% in Finland and less than 10% in the United Kingdom.
If one considers all subsidies received (subsidies on investment excluded), FADN data
indicate that organic farms would receive on average higher subsidies in absolute terms
and per hectare than conventional farms: €324 against €225 per hectare in the EU-10 and
€438 against €355 in the EU-15 in 2007 (FADN data). This is due partly to higher agrienvironment payments (€127 per hectare in the organic sector in the EU-15 against €24
in the conventional one in 2007). FADN data also indicate that organic farms would
benefit from higher less favoured area (LFA) payments (more than twice higher than the
conventional sector in the EU-10 in 2007). This is not surprising as organic farms are
more likely to be located in disadvantaged rural areas where extensive production
systems are more predominant, at least in some Member States.
3
4
INTRODUCTION
This report provides an update of the previous note on organic farming published by the
Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development in 2005. It also aims at
providing the main elements of the dynamics of development of the sector over the last
years. However, not all features of the sector benefit from a complete information
coverage. Therefore it is not always possible to point at clear and unambiguous trends.
The report relies on different types of data: statistical data; market data derived from a
variety of sources and also data derived from agricultural policy measures. The report
analyses certified organic and in-conversion areas, the numbers of certified organic and
in-conversion holdings, some characteristics of organic holdings (area, labour and age of
the farm holder structures), the breakdown of crop area, livestock, marketing channels
and retail sales of organic products, as well as EU support provided to the sector.
Statistical data originate mainly from Eurostat (data on the organic sector and data from
the Farm Structure Survey), but other sources are utilised as well, including research
projects, Farm Accounting Data Network (FADN) data and other sources.
The organic sector has joined the realm of the EU statistical system only recently, timeseries of production data start from 1998 only. This late start reflects the relatively late
inclusion of the organic sector in EU policies which dates back to 1991 with Council
Regulation (EEC) 2092/911. Council Regulation (EC) 834/20072, which replaced
Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91, provides for the provision by Member States of
statistical information necessary for its implementation and monitoring. The European
Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming3 acknowledges the necessity to improve the
collection of data on the sector (Action 3). As the weight of the sector keeps increasing,
the existence of appropriate data at all levels of the organic food supply chain becomes
more necessary. Yet, the information consolidated at the EU level is still incomplete and
of heterogeneous quality. Areas under organic production, livestock numbers, operator
numbers (producers, processors and importers) are reasonably well informed even if they
are not exempt from gaps, errors and inconsistencies. Other data such as crop and
livestock production volumes are for most missing. Data on international trade, industrial
production and prices at various stages of the supply chain are totally missing at the EU
level or even do not exist (e.g. trade data).
With this background, various sources have been utilised to complement Eurostat data so
as to derive a rather comprehensive picture of the situation of the sector in recent years.
These sources are indicated in the text and in the reference section of the report. Some of
the data are estimates and should be treated as such.
1
Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 on organic production of agricultural products and
indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs (Official Journal of the European
Communities L198 of 22 July 1991, p. 1)
2
Council Regulation (EC) 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products
(Official Journal of the European Communities L189 of 20 July 2007, p. 1)
3
COM(2004)415 final and SEC(2004) 739
5
In the present document, unless stated otherwise, the total organic area represents the
sum of the area under conversion and the certified organic area. Wooded areas are not
taken into consideration4. Areas under permanent pastures can be quite difficult to
determine, especially in mountainous areas. With this respect, in this report the organic
area data for Austria includes Alpine pastures (around 110 000 ha in 2007 and 2008).
These data - communicated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and
Water Management (MAFEWM) - are not currently included in Eurostat databases.
The analysis uses data until 2008. However, due to missing data, the analysis often stops
in 2007 or even 20065 (e.g. land use). Therefore, to arrive to EU-12, EU-15 or EU-27
aggregates, estimates have to be produced or different years utilised (e.g. 2008 for some
Member States and 2007 or estimates for Member States without 2008 data). This may
lead to some slight differences with other sources which may use other methodologies or
estimates. It is clearly indicated in the report when estimates are utilised.
Due to incomplete coverage, it has not been possible to provide an analysis of the
implementation at Member State level of the agri-environmental measures for the current
budgetary period (2007-2013). Hence, the analysis of the level of use of these measures
relies on data from the 2000-2006 period.
The previous note prepared by DG Agriculture and Rural Development provided data on
prices of organic products. However these data had been produced as part of a project
which is long terminated. The present note will not elaborate on this price analysis for
lack of data at the European level.
4
These areas are mainly utilised for the picking of wild plants (berries, herbs or mushrooms), sometimes they
are utilised for grazing or shelter for the animals. Most Member States do not report these areas to Eurostat.
When they do, the concerned areas have been excluded when they have communicated to DG AGRI the nature
of the area and the statistical item in which they report this data (most often "other permanent crops"). No
corrections have been made for Member States which have not replied to our inquiry. Therefore there may still
be limited wooded areas in the data utilised for the present analysis. In any case, these areas have not been
integrated in the total permanent crops aggregate.
5
In particular, data from the project EU-CEE-OFP have often been used to fill gaps with Eurostat data.
However, these data go until 2006 only.
6
1.
DYNAMICS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ORGANIC SECTOR
1.1.
Major evolution of organic area in the EU
The area under organic agriculture has increased significantly in the last years. Graph 1
shows the evolution of the area under organic cultivation in the period 2000-2008. In
nine years, the total (fully converted + in-conversion area) would have increased from
4.3 to an estimated 7.6 mio ha (+7.4% per year). The speed of the growth has been most
spectacular for the EU-12, which has jumped from 0.34 to 1.46 mio ha (+20.0% per
year), whereas in the same period the area increased from 3.8 to 6.2 mio ha in the EU-15,
at a more reduced average rate of 5.7% per year. The EU-15 represented 92.1% of all
EU-27 organic area in 2000. Despite the strong growth of the sector in the EU-12, EU-15
share was still 80.9% in 2008.
Graph 1. Area under organic cultivation in the EU (mio ha)
8,00
7,00
6,00
5,00
4,00
3,00
2,00
1,00
0,00
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
EU-12
0,34
0,47
0,55
0,64
0,75
1,01
1,15
1,36
1,46
EU-15
3,96
4,54
4,87
5,05
5,08
5,29
5,54
5,76
6,16
EU-27
4,29
5,01
5,42
5,69
5,83
6,30
6,69
7,11
7,62
Source: Elaborated by DG AGRI mainly from Eurostat data, with complements of missing data with
estimates from the EU-CEE-OFP project up to 2006, or other sources. For 2008, AGRI estimates for BE,
EE, EL, CY, LU, MT, PT. Data for Austria include alpine pastures (communicated by MAFEWM).
Graph 2 shows the evolution of the organic area in the Member States in 2001, 2004 and
2007 (and the in-conversion area in 2007). There are not yet complete data for 2008 (see
Table 11 in the statistical annex for currently available data). However, in absolute
terms, the Member States with the largest areas in 2008 are Spain (1.13 mio ha), Italy
(1.00 mio ha, with an area which is declining) and Germany (0.91 mio ha), which
together account for 39.6% of total EU-27 organic area. If one adds further the United
Kingdom (0.72 mio ha) and France (0.58 mio ha), then it is 56.8% of the EU area which
is counted.
Over the period, the area is rather stable in a number of Member States (Belgium,
Ireland, Netherlands, Finland and the United Kingdom). The area is on a steady decline
7
only in Denmark. This maybe reflects rather the maturity of the sector, which started to
develop before the majority of the other Member States. In Italy, after three years of
growth, the organic area would decline in 2008 by about 0.15 mio ha. There is a large
group of Member States (Germany, the three Baltic Member States, Greece, Spain,
Poland, Romania and Slovakia) where the growth of the sector could be qualified as
dynamic with steady increase of the area in the sector. Several EU-12 Member States are
part of this group, the sustained growth being at least partly explained by the support
provided to the sector already prior to accession to the EU and its subsequent increase
since accession. For Spain and Greece the dynamic increase probably reflects a
somewhat later start of the sector and a catching up effect. The case of Spain is very
spectacular with an increase of area of about 0.3 mio ha between 2007 and 2008!
Germany is certainly not a newcomer in the sector and the increase of area reflects a
constant interest and steady support. In comparison the area under organic cultivation is
on a rather moderate increase in several Member States (Czech Republic, France, Austria
and Sweden). This moderate increase can be explained either by the fact that these
Member States have reached a certain level of maturity (e.g. Austria and Sweden where
the importance of the sector is already very high) but support to the sector is still sizeable
(Austria) or because the sector has still potential for growth but circumstances or interest
for organic agriculture are less favourable than in the "dynamic" Member States.
Graph 2. Organic area (certified organic + in-conversion) in the Member States in
2001, 2004, 2007 and 2008 ('000 ha)
1.400
1.200
1.000
800
600
400
200
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
CY
LV
LT
LU
HU
MT
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
2001
22
1
218
168
632
20
30
31
445
420 1.238
0
11
6
2
79
0
36
411
39
74
29
11
59
148
203
680
2004
24
12
263
157
768
46
31
250
562
534
1
26
37
3
133
0
48
461
83
215
73
23
51
162
222
690
2007
33
14
294
141
865
80
41
280
805
557 1.150
2
173
120
4
107
0
47
482
289
233
131
29
118
149
308
660
17
320
150
908
87
43
318 1.130 584 1.002
162
122
4
123
50
493
314
140
30
141
150
336
726
2008
IT
954
Source: Eurostat data, Organic Centre Wales for several Member States for 2001, 2006 for Luxembourg
and Malta. No in-conversion data available for AT, DE, IE, LU, MT, PT and RO. AT: area data provided
by MAFEWM
The above absolute figures do tell only part of the story and it is not a surprise that the
larger Member States have the larger areas in the organic sector. Once we look at the
share of the organic area within the total utilised agricultural area (UAA), the relative
8
importance of the sector in each Member State appears more clearly and the ranking is
quite different.
Graph 3. Evolution of the share of the organic area in the UAA in the EU (%)
6,0
5,0
4,0
3,0
2,0
1,0
0,0
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
0,5
0,6
0,9
1,1
1,6
2,0
2,6
3,0
3,5
3,7
3,9
3,9
4,0
4,2
4,5
4,9
EU-12
0,6
0,8
1,0
1,2
1,4
1,9
2,2
2,6
2,8
EU-27
2,3
2,7
2,9
3,1
3,2
3,4
3,6
3,9
4,3
EU-15
Source: Eurostat and estimates from the project EU-CEE-OFP (organic area estimates for BE, EE, EL,
CY, LU, MT, PT for 2008). AT: data communicated by MAFEWM
Graph 4. Share of the organic area in the UAA in the EU-27, 2008 (%)
18,0
16,0
14,0
12,0
10,0
8,0
6,0
4,0
2,0
0,0
AT SE EE CZ
LV
EL
IT
SK
FI
PT
SI
DK DE
EULT
15
UK ES
EU- EULU NL BE FR HU PL CY RO
27 12
IE
BG MT
% UAA 15,5 10,9 10,9 9,0 8,9 8,0 7,5 7,3 6,5 6,3 6,1 5,6 5,4 4,9 4,6 4,5 4,4 4,3 2,8 2,7 2,6 2,4 2,1 2,1 2,0 1,5 1,0 1,0 0,3 0,2
Source: Eurostat, 2007 for BE, CY, IE, LU, MT and PT. AT: alpine pastures included (data from
MAFEWM)
In the EU-27 total organic area amounted to an estimated 4.3% of the UAA in 2008 (see
Graph 3) increasing from 3.9% in 2007. The corresponding figures for the EU-12 and
EU-15 were 2.8 and 4.9%. Whereas the growth of the share of the organic area in the
9
EU-15 seemed to decelerate in 2003 and 2004, it has resumed in the last four years
(2005-2008). The EU-12 is experiencing a dynamic increase, with a sharp increase in
2005 that can be attributed to the accession to the EU.
As shown in Graph 4, with a share of 15.5%, Austria is the Member State where the
importance of the organic sector in the total UAA is the highest. Sweden6 and Estonia
follow with 10.9 each. The Czech Republic and Latvia are at a par with 9.0 and 8.9%
respectively. It is interesting to note that among the EU-12, six Member States (the
Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia) already exceed the
EU-27 average of 4.3%. These Member States have experienced an extremely fast
development of the organic sector. On the other hand, five EU-15 Member States hold
shares lower than the EU average: Belgium (2.4%), Ireland (1.0%), France (2.1%),
Luxembourg (2.7%) and the Netherlands (2.6%).
Graph 5. Estimated annual area entering the in-conversion process in the EU (ha)
1.000.000
900.000
800.000
700.000
600.000
500.000
400.000
300.000
200.000
100.000
0
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
EU-15
2004
EU-12
2005
2006
2007
2008
EU-27
Source: Eurostat, elaboration by DG AGRI
In order to capture the dynamics of development of the sector, we provide in Graph 5
rough estimates of the area which enters annually the in-conversion process in the
organic farming sector7. For the EU-15 there are clearly two phases that can be
6
In Sweden some areas have benefitted in the past from organic agri-environment payments despite they were
not certified organic, these areas are not counted in the organic statistics. They are estimated at 7% of the UAA
(Stolze, Lampkin, 2009).
7
This area is estimated on the basis of the data of areas under the in-conversion process of organic cultivation.
This is done by dividing annual data by the average number of years of duration of the in-conversion process.
Usually the period of conversion is two years except for permanent crops for which it is three years. In the EU12 permanent crop are still low, therefore the average duration of the conversion process is considered 2.0 years.
In the EU-15, where about 10% of the organic area is made of permanent crops, the average duration is
considered 2.1 years. Of course this method smoothes variations from one year to the next, yet it reflects broadly
the dynamics. For Austria and Germany, for which data of in-conversion areas are not available, we retain the
10
identified: the period 1999-2004 which displays a regular decrease of the area entering
the organic sector, from around 700 000 ha per year in 1999-2002 to less than 500 000
ha in 2004. From 2005, the decline is stopped and in the period 2005-2008 the area
entering the sector is increasing, with a notable acceleration in 2008, with an average
area entering the sector of able at around 0.6 mio ha (0.46% of total UAA of the EU-15).
Regarding the EU-12 data available allow analysis only on the period 2004-2008. In this
period the area entering the in-conversion process annually would have amounted to an
estimated 0.24 mio ha on average (0.46% of the total UAA of the EU-12). One can note
that the area entering the in-conversion process seems to have reached a maximum
around 2006 (estimated at 0.27 mio ha) and subsequently declined in 2007 and 2008
(0.21 mio ha) whereas it has continued to increase in the EU-15. These evolutions seem
to be confirmed in Graph 6 which shows a decline of the area under conversion in 2007
and 2008 in the EU-10 whereas it continues to increase in the EU-13 (EU-15 minus
Austria and Germany for which there are no data) in the same years. It is of course too
early to draw conclusions but the dynamic development of the organic sector in the EU12 observed since the accession to the EU may be slowing down in the recent years.
Graph 6. Total area under organic sector: comparison between certified organic area
and area in-conversion (mio ha)
5,00
4,50
4,00
3,50
3,00
2,50
2,00
1,50
1,00
0,50
0,00
EU-13
EU-10
2004
EU-13
EU-10
EU-13
2005
EU-10
EU-13
2006
In-conversion
EU-10
EU-13
2007
EU-10
2008
Certified organic
Source: Eurostat, elaboration by DG AGRI
Note: EU-13 is EU-15 without Austria and Germany (for which not data are available)
annual increase of total organic area assuming that there is no exit from the sector (given that there is most likely
some exit, this tends to underestimate the amount of new area entering the in-conversion process). We do
similarly for Bulgaria and Romania for the years with missing data. The legislation provides that the minimum
duration of the conversion period is two years except for permanent crops for which it is three years (see Article
38 of Commission Regulation 889/2008, OJ EU L250 of 18/09/2008).
11
The observation of the share of the area under in-conversion within the total area of the
organic sector (in-conversion and certified organic areas) provides an indication of the
growth potential of the sector for the next few years (see Graph 7).
Among the EU-15 the potential growth in the next two to three years seems to be the
lowest (share of in-conversion area below 10%) in Denmark, France (although the share
is higher than 10% since 2007 and the development of the sector seems to accelerate
strongly in the last years), the Netherlands and Finland. In the other Member States the
share of the in-conversion area is higher than 20%. Portugal and Spain display high
growth dynamics with levels in excess of 40% (in 2008 the area under conversion in
Spain has jumped to 0.6 mio ha). For the EU-12 the share of the in-conversion area is
high in general, reflecting a sustained growth dynamics (see in particular in Poland,
Bulgaria and Romania). For a number of these Member States the share is steadily
decreasing indicating that after an initial period of dynamic growth, the development of
the sector seems to slow down (see in particular Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia
and Slovenia).
Graph 7. Share of the in-conversion area in total organic area (%) updated ES
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
EE
EL
1998
ES
1999
FR
2000
IT
2001
CY
LV
2002
LT
2003
HU
2004
NL
PL
PT
2005
2006
2007
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
2008
Source: Eurostat, elaboration DG AGRI (no data or no recent data for DE, IE, LU, MT)
The map (see Figure 1), based on the results of the Farm Structure Survey of 2007 and
complementary sources, provides the share of the organic area in the UAA at the
regional level in the EU. It shows that there is a rather strong heterogeneity within most
Member States regarding the weight of the organic sector. It is perhaps in the Member
States that have a high share of the organic sector where there is more homogeneity
among regions (Austria, Finland, Germany and Sweden). In France, Italy and Spain the
organic sector is more important in Southern regions. In France, Provence Alpes Côte
d'Azur is the only region where the share of the organic sector in the total UAA is above
5% (6.9%). In Spain the organic sector is clearly concentrated in the South, with almost
60% of the organic area located in Andalucía. In Italy there is a clear divide between
12
Northern regions where, with the exception of Liguria, the organic sector does not
exceed 2.0%, together with Campania and Molise in the South, and the rest of the
Member State where the organic sector is close to 5% (Apulia) or exceeds it. In the
United Kingdom the importance of the sector is higher in South-West and North East in
England and in Wales and Scotland. The organic sector is less important in the Eastern
part of England.
The map also reflects the fact that organic farming is particularly present in regions with
extensive livestock production systems based on permanent grassland. This concerns
mountainous and semi-mountainous regions in Alpine areas and other parts of the EU.
The importance of the organic sector is generally lower in the regions of plains where
more intensive conventional production systems prevail.
Figure 1. Share of the organic area in the total UAA in 2007 at regional level (%)
13
1.2.
2.2.1
Holdings involved in the organic sector
Evolution of the number of organic holdings
The observation of the evolution of the total area involved in the organic sector does not
tell everything on its current dynamics. As a matter of fact, as Graph 8 shows, there is a
positive (if varying) increase of the area in the sector in the EU-25 from 2000 to 2008
but the number of holdings involved declines slightly in the period 2002-2004 before
increasing from 2005. The analysis of the number of holdings involved allows a rather
precise assessment of the interest of agricultural producers for the sector because the data
include information on new producers and on producers leaving the sector. This allows
highlighting a rather important feature of the organic sector which is a sizeable turnover.
Graph 8. Evolution of the area and number of holdings involved in the organic sector in
the EU-25 (mio ha, number of holdings)
250.000
8,0
7,0
200.000
Area (mio ha)
5,0
150.000
4,0
100.000
3,0
Number of holdings
6,0
2,0
50.000
1,0
0,0
Organic area
Number of holdings
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
4,3
5,0
5,4
5,6
5,7
6,2
6,6
7,0
7,5
134.704
148.622
146.388
142.899
142.574
161.679
176.213
184.102
193.909
0
Source: elaborated by DG AGRI on the basis of Eurostat data, and other data to complement (see Tables 11
and 12 for specific sources). BG and RO are not considered.
In 2008 it is estimated that there were about 197 000 holdings involved in the organic
sector in the EU-27, i.e. 2.9% of all holdings in the EU-15 (comparison with the total
number of holdings in 2007 according to the Farm Structure Survey) but a mere 0.6% in
the EU-12 (where the total number of farms is largely inflated by very large numbers of
small farms in Poland and Romania in particular). For the EU-27 as a whole the share of
organic holdings is 1.4%. At Member State level it varies between the cases of Bulgaria
and Romania, where it is less than 0.1%, and Austria which stands at 12.2%.
14
Graph 9. Evolution of the number of organic holdings in the EU (’000)
200.000
EU-27
180.000
EU-25
160.000
140.000
120.000
100.000
EU-15 without Italy
80.000
EU-15
60.000
Italy
40.000
20.000
EU-10
0
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Source: Eurostat and other sources (see Table 12 in annex)
For the EU-15, the number of holdings has not increased steadily since the beginning of
the 1990s. As a matter of fact it is necessary to distinguish Italy and the rest of the EU15. For the latter, the increase in the number of holdings has been rather smooth, with
two periods however: 1993-2001 when the average annual increase was 17.3% and
2001-2008 when the average annual increase dropped to 4.6%. In Italy the number of
organic holdings has increased until 2001 when it reached a peak of around 56 000
holdings. Then, according to Eurostat data, the number of holdings has decreased
remarkably for three years to reach 37 000 holdings, i.e. a loss of 19 000 holdings!
However, from 2005 the number of holdings seems to have stabilised. This fall in
number of holdings in Italy would essentially be a consequence of the decrease of agrienvironment payments after 2000 together with lower prices of organic products
(Nicholas et al., 2006). In the rest of the EU-15 the number of producers has increased
rather smoothly, with a phase of slightly lower growth in the years 2002-2005.
Whereas in the EU-12 the number of holdings involved in the sector is understandably
increasing, given that it starts from low levels and it usually benefits from higher support
since joining the EU, in the EU-15, where the sector could be said to be more "mature",
the evolutions are not similar in all the Member States (see Graph 10). Apart from
Greece, which has seen a huge increase in the number of organic farms, for the other
EU-15 Member States the numbers of farms have increased to various extent or been
stable with the exceptions of Denmark and Finland where the number of farms in the
organic sector has rather declined in the last five years.
15
Graph 10. Number of organic holdings in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2008
60.000
50.000
40.000
30.000
20.000
10.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
2001
LV
LT
2004
LU
2007
HU MT
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
2008
Source: Eurostat, except Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Hungary, Poland and Portugal: estimates by
Organic Centre Wales. 2006 instead of 2007 for CY, LT, MT, RO and SI. PL estimates for 2007 and 2008
Graph 11. New, exiting and other organic producers in eight Member States (%)
60.000
50.000
40.000
30.000
20.000
10.000
0
1999
2000
2001
2002
Other producers
2003
New producers
2004
2005
2006
2007
Producers who leave following year
Source: elaborated on the basis of Eurostat data with the following Member States: BE, DK, DE, EL, LU,
PT, FI and SE. AGRI estimates of new and exits for LU and PT (2006 to 2008) and SE (2007 and 2008).
Graph 11 shows for a selection of eight EU-15 Member States, for which we have data
for the period 1999-2007, three categories of organic producers: newly registered,
producers who quit the sector the following year (either because they give up the farming
activity or they revert to the conventional sector) and the other producers. We do not
16
include Italy in this graph because of the large variations recorded by the Member State
and inconsistencies regarding data. Altogether these eight Member States represent in
2006 54 000 producers, i.e. about 30% of all EU-27 organic producers. The graph shows
that each year there is a rather stable exit of about 8-10% of producers (4% only in
2007). Regarding the category of new producers, its weight in the total number of
organic producers varies between 10 and 20%, reaching the low levels of 9% in 2003
and 2007.
Graph 12 shows the share of new and exiting producers in the total number of organic
producers on average in the period 2005-2007 (or 2004-2006) for a number of Member
States. Quite understandably, the share of new producers is large in all EU-12 Member
States for which we have data. It is also very high in Greece where the development of
the sector is more recent than in most EU-15 Member States. It is also high – at or higher
than 10% - in Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the
United Kingdom. On the other hand, in Member States where the sector started to grow
earlier, such as Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, the share of
new producers is at or below 5%.
The evolution of the sector can be linked to three major drivers. First of all, the support
provided to the sector (see section 4 for an overview of EU policies). Secondly, market
developments do play an important role. Finally, the existence of a "facilitating"
environment (extension services, vocational training, agronomic research, etc.) has also
an important bearing. In particular, the development of the sector in Northern European
Member States, Germany and Austria pertains to a large extent not only to the support
provided to the sector but to the establishment of such a comprehensive facilitating
environment. In the EU-12, the remarkable development of the sector owes probably
also to a favourable context of deep restructuring and reform of the agricultural sector
(and the whole economy) since the beginning of the 1990s with the renewal of farming
structures, institutions and agricultural policy. These systemic changes provided more
space for organic farming to develop.
It is interesting to look at the significance of producers leaving the organic sector
annually. Although it is difficult to compare with the overall agricultural sector (for
which data on new producers are not available), globally the significance of exiting
producers in the organic sector seems to be much higher than the decline of producers
for the overall agricultural sector in most of the Member States. This suggests that a
sizeable share of the producers leaving the sector revert to conventional agriculture. The
significance of producers leaving the organic sector in the period 2005-2007 (or 20042006 or other, see source of Graph 12) is the highest in Bulgaria (35%) and in the United
Kingdom (13%). It is also high - standing at around 9% - in Denmark, Greece, Italy,
Slovenia, Slovakia and Sweden. Apart from Denmark, Italy, Sweden and the United
Kingdom, these are Member States for which the development of the sector is quite
recent. In Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia and
the Netherlands, less than 5% of the producers leave the sector annually. This can reflect
at first sight the stability of mature sectors (e.g. in Austria) where at the same time the
level of new producers is also low and the significance of exits is probably not that
different from the decline of the overall number of agricultural producers. This can also
reflect, when it is combined with rather high levels of new producers, a rather robust
growth in such Member States as the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland
or Spain. Finally in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, the level of exits exceeds well the
17
level of new producers on average in the period 2005-2007. These Member States would
face a net decline of the number of organic producers in the concerned period.
Graph 12. Average annual level of new producers and of producers leaving the organic
sector in the period 2005-2007 (% of total number of certified holdings)
55,0
50,0
45,0
40,0
35,0
30,0
25,0
20,0
15,0
10,0
5,0
0,0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
New certified producers
FR
IT
LV
LU
NL
AT
PT
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Producers leaving the organic sector
Source: elaborated by DG AGRI on the basis of Eurostat data (Agence Bio for FR). The averages are
calculated on the available data in the period 2005-2008 (2004-2007 for LU, NL, SI, 2003-2006 for SE;
2003-2005 for PT; AT data for 2004 and 2005 only; FR data for 2007 and 2008 only). No information
available for CY, LT, HU, PL and RO. No data on exiting producers for PT.
The fact that the significance of producers leaving the organic sector can be sizeable
(fluctuating between few percents to more than 10% depending on the Member States)
highlights a certain fragility of the sector. Reasons for reverting to conventional
agriculture may range from difficulties to meet technical requirements of the organic
farming system; difficulties to sell organic products at sufficiently high prices whether
because of lack of demand or inadequate marketing conditions8. In a number of
situations it may be that the difficulties inherent to the sector are not properly assessed a
priori by the farmers who convert to organic agriculture. Decisions to convert may be
sometimes more geared by preoccupations to get access to support measures than the
result of a thorough approach. Difficulties to market organic products may arise from
temporary gluts of some specific products (e.g. oversupply of organic milk in the
beginning of the years 2000 in some Member States) or temporary slow down of demand
(e.g. the current economic crisis). The fact that the organic market is quite narrow entails
that it can be easily disrupted. Difficulties faced by the organic producers may be larger
8
Rigby et al. (2001) provide the following main reasons for farmers reverting to the conventional sector in the
case of the United Kingdom in the 1990s: 1) marketing and market incentives; 2) cost issues (including
administrative costs such as certification); 3) agronomic problems (including access to technical information). In
Austria the main reasons for high reversion levels in 2000 and 2001 were reported as high prices for organic feed
concentrates, the lack of adequate price premiums and the administrative burden for organic certification
(Gleirscher, 2008). In Denmark, the fall in number of producers in the early 2000s was caused by over-supply of
organic products on the market, see Nicholas et al. (2006).
18
in Member States where the development of the sector is more recent because the food
supply chains are not completely in place (difficulties to sell) or the institutional
framework is less conducive (e.g. lack of dedicated extension services). This stresses the
necessity of a comprehensive approach on the sector of the concerned Member States,
which needs to extend well beyond the mere provision of support subsidies to organic
production.
2.2.2
Elements on organic farm structures: area, economic size, labour and age of
farmers
The Farm Structure Survey (FSS) provides interesting information on several features of
organic farms. It is important to stress that the representativeness of organic data is not
guaranteed as the survey is not stratified according to the organic / non organic criteria.
Yet the survey provides a host of information which is absent from annual organic
statistical data. The last available data cover 2007.
According to the FSS, there were in 183 000 organic holdings (i.e. holdings with organic
area and/or organic animals) in 2007, this is very close to the estimation of 187 000
holdings provided earlier in the report which is based on the annual statistical data. Out
of this total, 62% were holdings with organic area and without organic animals, i.e.
farms specialised in organic crops. Holdings combining organic area and organic animals
represented 34% of the total. Interestingly, holdings with organic animals but without
organic areas represented 4% of all EU organic farms, however this may include, in
some Member States, farms with animals grazing on common land.
The average area of organic holdings varies significantly across Member States, see
Graph 13. In 2007, the largest organic holdings were located in Slovakia (average total
area of 535 ha), Hungary (342 ha), the Czech Republic (278 ha) and the United Kingdom
(153 ha). In these Member States, a large part of the area of the organic sector is
permanent grassland. Not all area in the organic holdings is farmed in an organic way:
68% on average in EU-15 organic holdings and 54% in EU-12 organic holdings (EU-27
average of 65%) according to the Farm Structure Survey.
Graph 13 provides also a comparison of the average total UAA of organic holdings with
conventional holdings9. As a matter of fact, in all Member States the average size of
organic holdings appears larger than the average size of conventional holdings (even if
the difference is not large in some Member States). One element of explanation lies in
the fact that the sectoral distribution of the organic and conventional holdings is not the
same, with, for instance, higher prevalence of farm specialisations with smaller size in
the conventional sector (such as pig or poultry farms) whereas there is a higher
prevalence of holdings based on extensive livestock production with large grassland
areas in the organic sector. However, this explanation is not sufficient as the observation
at specialisation level (see Annex) provides similar indications for most specialisations.
Another possible explanation may be that larger farm size may be necessary to
compensate for higher production costs in parts of the organic sector. In the EU-12, the
large difference between the average organic holding size and the conventional one in
9
It is worth noting that using annual organic statistics (total UAA divided by total number of holdings) would
lead to results quite different for some Member States since it would include areas in common (e.g. mountain
pastures). In addition these data would provide no information on the total area of the holdings. This is why data
of the Farm Structure Survey have been preferred.
19
some Members States might reflect the fact that part of the organic sector develops in
large-scale farms (e.g. former agricultural cooperatives or State farms).
Graph 13. Average UAA of organic and non organic holdings and average organic
area in organic holdings (ha) in 200710
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE IE EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU MT NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK
4 15 11 57 6
1 25 19 6 12 3
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic farms (FSS)
28 6 84 59 45 37 32 4 23 52 7
Organic farms (FSS)
52 66 278 69 59 69 38 11 53 58 25 8 40 82 59 342 0 42 22 26 62 20 15 535 40 92 154 56 37 40
6 26 33 40 53 6 22 12
of which organic area FSS)
35 9 198 61 50 46 27 6 16 42 17 3 23 25 53 137 0 33 19 17 34 3 13 295 35 65 113 30 25 26
of which organic area (annual data) 40 57 223 50 46 62 36 12 44 47 25 7 42 52 49 66 2 34 24 24 120 29 14 421 37 108 120
Source: Eurostat: Farm Structure Survey (2007) and annual organic data (2007, 2006 for CY, EE, LT,
LU, MT and RO)
Table 1. Average economic size and distribution of organic and conventional holdings
in 2007 by economic size classes (ESU and %)
EU-12
EU-15
EU-27
Non organic Organic Non organic Organic Non organic Organic
Average size (ESU)
2,4
14,4
23,5
35,1
11,0
32,1
Distribution (%)
< 1 ESU
68,6
18,7
16,0
3,7
47,2
5,9
1 - < 2 ESU
15,2
17,0
13,0
5,5
14,3
7,2
2 - < 4 ESU
7,5
20,7
16,6
10,3
11,2
11,8
4 - < 8 ESU
4,2
17,8
15,6
18,1
8,8
18,1
8 - < 16 ESU
2,5
12,3
12,3
19,2
6,5
18,2
16 - < 40 ESU
1,4
8,1
12,4
23,6
5,9
21,4
40 - < 100 ESU
0,4
3,2
9,0
13,0
3,9
11,6
100 - < 250 ESU
0,1
1,4
4,1
5,2
1,7
4,6
>= 250 ESU
0,1
0,6
1,0
1,5
0,5
1,4
Source: Farm Structure Survey
10
We provide in this graph the average organic area per farm as indicated by the FSS but also as indicated by the
annual organic data. For the latter we divide the total organic area by the total number of certified organic
producers. Differences between the two sources can be quite large for some Member States (e.g. for HU, PT,
etc.). This may be due to different definitions or methodologies (e.g. common pasture land counted in the annual
data but not in the FSS) or to the absence of stratification of organic agriculture leading to an inadequate
representativeness of the FSS samples regarding organic agriculture.
20
Agricultural area is an incomplete measure of farm size, however. A more
comprehensive approach is to look at the economic size, as measured in European Size
Unit11 (ESU), see Table 1. As with area, organic farms are on average larger than
conventional farm. Organic and conventional holdings have clearly different distribution
patterns, the organic sector being more represented in the larger size classes. This is
obvious in the case of the EU-12, where the number of very small conventional holdings
is very high, but this is true also for the EU-15.
It is often argued that organic farming employs more labour than conventional farming
because it is more labour intensive (additional labour being made necessary to
compensate for the absence of use of chemical inputs and nitrogen fertilizers) than
conventional farming. However, this is not the case at the overall level for most Member
States, as Graph 14 shows. Data indicate that the AWU / 100 ha is higher for
conventional than for organic farming in all Member States except in France and
Luxembourg. However, in the EU-15, the difference between the two types of farming is
rather limited (4.6 AWU / 100 ha in the conventional sector against 4.0 in the organic
sector) whereas it is larger in the EU-12. The observation at the level of the main subsectors indicates that even in the labour-intensive sub-sectors (e.g. horticulture,
permanent crops), organic holdings would, on average, use less labour than conventional
farms (see Annex).
Graph 14. Employment of labour per area in the EU (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
20,0
18,0
16,0
14,0
12,0
10,0
8,0
6,0
4,0
2,0
0,0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE IE EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic holdings 4,8 16,2 4,1 2,1 3,6 3,7 3,6 14,4 3,9 2,9 10,6 17,8 6,1 7,1 2,9 9,8 8,6 5,1 14,7 10,1 16,1 17,6 4,9 3,2 2,2 2,1 12,8 4,6 6,9
Organic holdings
3,2 12,7 1,9 1,9 3,3 2,2 3,1 9,5 2,8 3,9 6,1 16,8 4,1 2,7 3,4 2,9 8,0 5,1 6,6 3,2 7,4 9,2 2,4 2,8 1,6 1,8 3,9 4,0 4,0
Source: Farm Structure Survey (2007). AWU: Annual Work Unit
11
The European Size Unit is calculated on the basis of standard gross margins (SGM). For each activity
("enterprise") on a farm (for instance wheat, dairy cow or vineyard), a standard gross margin is estimated, based
on the area (or the number of heads) and a regional coefficient. The sum of such margins in a farm represents its
economic size, expressed in European Size Units (1 ESU corresponds to a 1200-euro standard gross margin).
21
It does not seem that a size effect (i.e. the fact that organic farms are larger than
conventional farms) would explain the difference between the two categories of
holdings. If we make the comparisons for holdings of similar economic size classes,
results indeed show that organic holdings use less labour than conventional ones, with
the exception of the largest size classes (see Annex).
If organic farms are on average larger than non organic farms, their holders are also
younger. Age distributions of the managers of farms with organic area and farms without
organic area are strikingly different: farmers younger than 55 represent 64.3% of the
organic sector whereas they represent only 44.3% of the conventional sector. See Table 2
and Graph 15.
Table 2. Age distribution of farm managers in 2007 (percent)
EU-27
< 35 years
35 - 44 years
45 - 54 years
55 - 64 years
>= 65 years
Source: Farm
EU-12
Non
Organic
organic
farms
farms
9,9
6,2
24,4
15,4
29,9
22,7
19,5
22,8
16,6
32,9
Structure Survey
Organic
farms
10,7
22,7
30,4
18,6
17,9
EU-15
Non
organic
farms
6,9
15,1
22,2
22,1
33,8
Organic
farms
9,8
24,7
29,9
19,6
16,4
Non
organic
farms
5,2
15,8
23,6
23,8
31,7
Graph 15. Comparison of age distribution of farm managers in the organic and non
organic sector in the EU-27 in 2007 (percent)
35,0
32,9
30,0
29,9
25,0
24,4
22,7
22,8
20,0
15,4
19,5
15,0
16,6
10,0
9,9
6,2
5,0
0,0
Non organic farms
< 35 years
35 - 44 years
Organic farms
45 - 54 years
55 - 64 years
>= 65 years
Source: Farm Structure Survey
22
2.
ANALYSIS OF MAIN CROP AND ANIMAL SECTORS
In this part of the report, we aim to describe the importance of the various sub-sectors in
organic agriculture, mainly on the basis of Eurostat data. When possible, comparisons
with the overall agriculture are made with the objective of highlighting and explaining
major differences regarding respective weights. Sub-sectors in organic crop and animal
production may indeed have lower or higher importance than in the overall agriculture
for several reasons. The latter range from choices in policy support to the sector to
technical aspects related to organic production (e.g. difficulty to grow a certain type of
crop according to organic rules) and to the structure of consumer demand (which may
favour some categories of food products).
2.1.
1.4.1
Breakdown of the organic area by crop type
Analysis by main categories of land use
Table 3. Main categories of organic land in the EU-1512 ('000 ha and %)
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
Arable crops
628
807
955
1.248
1.271
1.239
1.272
1.350
Green fodder from arable land
477
723
833
745
801
885
827
895
Horticulture
227
365
415
477
463
466
469
517
of which vegetables
40
36
43
40
43
44
48
51
permanent crops
187
328
372
436
419
421
420
466
Permanent pastures
1.176
1.445
1.702
1.924
2.111
2.373
2.395
2.336
Other
51
79
51
145
246
98
136
187
Total land
2.559
3.420
3.956
4.538
4.891
5.061
5.099
5.285
In % of the total
Arable crops
24,5
23,6
24,1
27,5
26,0
24,5
25,0
25,5
Green fodder from arable crops
18,6
21,2
21,1
16,4
16,4
17,5
16,2
16,9
Horticulture
8,9
10,7
10,5
10,5
9,5
9,2
9,2
9,8
of which
vegetables
1,6
1,1
1,1
0,9
0,9
0,9
0,9
1,0
permanent crops
7,3
9,6
9,4
9,6
8,6
8,3
8,2
8,8
Permanent pastures
46,0
42,3
43,0
42,4
43,2
46,9
47,0
44,2
2,0
2,3
1,3
3,2
5,0
1,9
2,7
3,5
Other
Sources: Eurostat, project EU-CEE-OFP and national data. "Other permanent crops" excluded from aggregate "permanent crops"
2006
1.267
965
593
80
513
2.507
222
5.555
Annual
growth
rate %
9,2
9,2
12,8
9,0
13,4
9,9
20,3
10,2
22,8
17,4
10,7
1,4
9,2
45,1
4,0
Due to lack of data for EU-12 Member States, we provide time series of the major uses
of land under organic production only for the EU-15 (see Table 3). For a complete
picture of EU-27 the analysis is done only for 2006.
In the EU-15, throughout the analysed period, permanent pastures have represented more
than 40% of all organic land. The area under horticulture has almost tripled but its share
has been rather stable around 10%. Whereas arable crops have increased annually at the
average of 9.2%, horticulture has been more dynamic at 12.8%, especially permanent
crops with 13.4%, the increase of area of vegetables has been comparatively less
dynamic with 9.0% per year.
12
In this document, arable crops include cereals, dried pulses, root crops, industrial crops and "other arable land
crops". Temporary pastures are covered in the category "green fodder from arable land". Grassland includes
permanent pastures and meadows. Horticulture includes vegetables (potatoes and dried pulses are under arable
crops), melons and strawberries and permanent crops (fruit trees, multiannual fruit bushes, olive trees and vines).
The category of "other permanent crops" has been excluded from the aggregate permanent crops. The category
"other" covers fallow land, unused land, land used for seeds and the item "other permanent crops".
23
Graph 16. Breakdown of utilised agricultural area in the organic sector in 2006 in the
EU-12, EU-15 and EU-27 ('000 ha and %)
100%
3.4%
10.7%
9.4%
62.5%
63.6%
22.8%
23.2%
80%
60%
68.8%
40%
20%
25.2%
0%
EU-12
EU-15
EU-27
Other
30
222
252
Horticulture
39
593
631
Grassland and fodder
791
3.472
4.263
Arable crops
289
1.267
1.556
Source: elaborated by AGRI from Eurostat or EU-CEE-OFP data. HU: 2004 or 2007. AT: data
communicated by MAFEWM (include alpine pastures)
Table 4. Land use categories in total agriculture / organic sectors in 2006 (%)
Arable
Arable Permanent Permanent
Green
Vegetables
land
crops (1) grassland
crops
fodder
All agriculture (share in total utilised agricultural area)
EU-12
69,9
61,0
26,9
2,4
1,2
7,7
EU-15
56,6
44,0
31,6
8,2
1,2
11,4
EU-27
60,4
48,9
30,3
6,6
1,2
10,3
Organic agriculture (share in total organic + in-conversion area)
EU-12
37,5
25,2
56,5
2,9
0,5
12,4
EU-15
40,2
22,8
45,1
9,2
1,4
17,4
EU-27
39,7
23,2
47,1
8,1
1,3
16,5
Source: elaborated from Eurostat (and EU-CEE-OFP for some missing data)
(1): excludes from arable land vegetables and green fodder
Graph 16 shows clear differences of the land use in the organic sector between the EU12 and the EU-15. The significance of arable crops and of permanent pastures and green
fodder is more important in the EU-12 than in the EU-15. Conversely, whereas
horticulture represents 10.7% of the organic area in the EU-15 it stands only at 3.4% in
the EU-12.
The comparison for the main use categories of the whole EU agricultural sector with the
organic sector shows interesting features. Quite understandably the shares of vegetables
and permanent crops are higher in the organic sector than in the whole EU agriculture,
although the difference is not large, as the demand on the organic market is among the
highest for fruit and vegetable products. What is striking is the significance of permanent
grassland which represents only 30.3% of the EU-27 utilised agricultural area (UAA)
whereas it represents 47.1% of the whole organic area. Hence, whereas the organic
24
sector amounts to 3.6% of total EU UAA in 2006, for permanent pastures the share is
5.7%. Similarly, green fodder represents only 10.3% of the whole EU UAA but 16.5% of
the organic area.
Table 5. Major uses of organic area in 2006 ('000 ha and %) per Member State
Permanent
Green fodder
Horticulture
grassland
Area
%
Area
%
Area
%
Area
%
Belgium
3,9
13,4
19
64,5
5,3
18,1
1,0
3,4
Bulgaria
1,1
22,7
0
9,9
0,0
0,6
1,9
39,9
Czech Republic
11,3
4,4
230
90,0
11,6
4,5
1,9
0,7
Denmark
49,2
35,6
19
13,9
63,4
45,9
1,4
1,0
Germany
244,8
29,7
410
49,7
122,0
14,8 17,8
2,2
Estonia
9,4
12,9
12
16,2
48,3
66,2
1,2
1,7
Ireland
0,8
2,1
34
92,3
0,0
0,0
0,3
0,9
Greece
53,6
17,7
132
43,7
29,8
9,8 72,5
24,0
Spain
190,9
25,9
379
51,4
0,0
0,0 166,7
22,6
France
116,2
21,0
220
39,8
122,5
22,2 36,8
6,6
Italy
282,6
24,6
261
22,8
297,4
25,9 249,8
21,8
Cyprus
0,9
47,4
0
0,0
0,0
0,0
0,9
46,3
Latvia
59,7
34,1
103
58,9
0,8
0,5
1,5
0,9
Lithuania
66,3
68,5
22
23,2
1,0
1,0
4,7
4,8
Luxembourg
0,8
23,4
2
52,9
0,6
15,7
0,1
2,3
Hungary
40,1
30,2
60
45,3
20,4
15,3
4,4
3,3
Malta
0,0
1,0
0
0,0
0,0
1,0
0,1
98,1
Netherlands
10,1
21,0
30
62,0
0,0
0,0
4,1
8,4
Austria
88,2
18,3
331
68,7
46,2
9,6
4,7
1,0
Poland
42,4
25,8
62
37,6
37,1
22,6 19,3
11,7
Portugal
31,7
11,5
200
72,5
10,0
3,6 28,4
10,3
Romania
42,1
39,1
51
47,6
2,8
2,6
1,0
0,9
Slovenia
1,1
4,2
24
91,2
0,4
1,6
0,8
2,9
Slovakia
14,7
12,2
83
69,1
19,6
16,3
0,9
0,8
Finland
55,1
38,1
1
0,5
74,0
51,2
0,9
0,6
Sweden
68,3
30,3
46
20,2
91,9
40,8
0,9
0,4
United Kingdom
71,1
11,8
423
70,0
102,3
16,9
7,4
1,2
EU-12
289,1
25,2
649
56,5
142,1
12,4 38,6
3,4
EU-15
1.267,4
22,8 2.507
45,1
965,4
17,4 592,8
10,7
EU-27
1.556,5
23,2 3.155
47,1 1.107,5
16,5 631,4
9,4
Sources: Eurostat. HU: 2004. AT: data from MAFEWM which include alpine pastures
Arable crops
Other
Area
0,2
1,3
0,6
4,8
31,0
2,2
1,8
14,3
0,5
57,6
57,0
0,1
9,9
2,3
0,2
7,8
0,0
4,2
11,9
3,8
5,6
10,5
0,1
2,0
13,9
18,7
0,5
30,2
222,1
252,4
total area
%
0,7
26,8
0,3
3,5
3,8
3,0
4,8
4,7
0,1
10,4
5,0
6,3
5,6
2,4
5,7
5,9
0,0
8,6
2,5
2,3
2,0
9,7
0,2
1,6
9,6
8,3
0,1
2,6
4,0
3,8
29,3
4,7
255,1
138,1
825,5
72,9
37,2
302,3
736,9
552,8
1.148,2
2,0
175,1
96,7
3,5
133,0
0,1
48,4
482,3
164,4
275,4
107,6
26,8
120,4
144,7
225,4
604,6
1.148,5
5.554,7
6.703,2
Conversely, arable crops cover 48.9% of the total UAA of the EU but only 23.2% of the
organic UAA. One element of explanation lies in the fact that organic production
systems are more extensive than in conventional agriculture (higher reliance on grazing
on permanent pastures). Permanent pastures are often eligible to agri-environment
organic payments and easier and less risky to convert to the organic sector than the other
types of crops (e.g. arable crops). Depending on national features of agri-environment
payments and land use characteristics at regional level, this could lead to a bias towards
the development of organic permanent pastures. In addition, technical difficulties may
prevent the development of arable crops in the organic sector: pest control and
management is more difficult in the organic sector than in the conventional sector. The
rather limited areas of rapeseed or peas would be largely due to difficulties linked to pest
management (see David, 2009).
The issue of the high share of permanent pastures in the organic sector has been
pinpointed in particular in the case of the EU-12 (e.g. Slabe et al., 2006) as the tendency
is even more pronounced than in the EU-15. Yet, the situation in this respect is evolving.
Whereas in early stages primarily pasture areas were converted to organic agriculture,
lately other land use types have gained importance. Hence in 2001 pastures represented
25
69.2% of all organic areas, in 2006 this share has declined to 56.5% and this process is
continuing. As a matter of fact this is a trajectory which took place in other Member
States in the early stage of development of the organic sector (e.g. in Austria, see
Gleirscher, 2008).
Graph 17 below provides the share of the organic area in the total EU area for major crop
types. Unsurprisingly, it is highest for permanent pastures and dried pulses which play a
major role for animal feed. It is the lowest for oilseeds.
Graph 17. Share of the organic area in total EU area by crop sectors (2006, %)
12,0
10,0
8,0
6,0
4,0
2,0
0,0
Dried pulses
Permanent
pastures
Permanent crops
Vegetables
0,8
9,7
4,6
2,6
0,9
2,8
5,9
6,0
4,7
5,0
6,7
5,7
4,5
3,9
UAA
Cereals
EU-12
2,2
EU-15
4,2
EU-27
3,6
2,0
Oilseeds
0,9
Source: Eurostat, elaboration DG AGRI. 2008 for oilseeds
1.4.2
Permanent pastures and green fodder
At Member State level, the area under permanent pastures is the highest in absolute
terms in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom where it is around 0.4 mio ha. In six
Member States the organic sector amounts to more than 10% of the total (organic and
non organic) area of permanent pastures: 25.8% in the Czech Republic (where the
organic cattle has developed fast), 16.0% in Greece, 16.2% in Latvia, 15.5% in Slovakia,
12.0% in Austria and 11.5% in Portugal. Due to incomplete data it is not possible to
provide an exact figure of the area under temporary grassland. Out of the area of
1.1 mio ha of green fodder in the EU in 2006, it is estimated that around half consisted in
temporary grassland.
26
Graph 18. Area under permanent pastures and green fodder in 2006 (ha)
450.000
400.000
350.000
300.000
250.000
200.000
150.000
100.000
50.000
0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE IE EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU MT NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK
Permanent pastures
Green fodder from arable land
Source: Eurostat data, EU-CEE-OFP for DE and FI, HU 2004 (data on green fodder are 0 for ES and IE)
1.4.3
Major arable crops: cereals, oilseeds and protein crops
Graph 19. Organic cereal area in 2007 (ha)
300.000
250.000
200.000
150.000
100.000
50.000
0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE IE EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU MT NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK
Cereals
Soft wheat
durum wheat
Source: Eurostat (EU-CEE-OFP for FI), Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
(BMELV) for DE, 2004 for LU. Soft wheat no data for soft wheat for BG, CY, ES, IE, MT, PL, PT, RO and
SE (incomplete data for durum wheat as well).
Among the arable crops, cereals represent the most important category with 1.2 mio ha
in 2007, i.e. 18.3% of all EU organic land and about 80% of the total organic arable crop
27
area. This represents 2.1% of the total EU cereal area. The largest areas are located in
Italy (almost 0.25 mio ha) and in Germany (around 0.2 mio ha). In 2007, Spain grows
121 000 ha. France, the largest EU producer of cereals, comes fourth with 86 000 ha.
Wheat represents roughly 0.4 mio ha (of which more than 0.1 mio ha of durum wheat in
Italy). Among the constraints that impede the development of arable crops in the organic
sector, pest control and management has already been mentioned. Other factors play a
role, in particular weed management which, in the case of wheat, is often cited as the
main technical difficulty faced in the organic sector as the use of chemical herbicides is
prohibited (David et al., 2009).
The area under oilseeds is estimated at around 90 000 ha in 2008 (data are missing for
several Member States), i.e. 0.9% of total EU oilseed area.
Graph 20. EU oilseed organic area in 2008 (ha)
25.000
20.000
15.000
10.000
5.000
0
be
cz
dk
de
ee
ie
gr
fr
it
lv
lt
hu
mt
nl
at
pl
ro
si
sk
fi
uk
Source: Eurostat. DE: 2007 data communicated by BMELV; BE and AT 2007
Sunflower and rapeseed are the two most important oilseeds, however rapeseed amounts
to about 25 000 ha whereas sunflower stands at about 35 000 ha (AGRI estimates). With
an estimated area of 15 000 ha, soybean is rather well represented in the organic sector
(out of 10.7 mio ha of oilseeds in total in the EU in 2008, soya amounted to only
0.3 mio ha).
Another category of arable crops deserves to be covered in this report: dried pulses.
Dried pulses, also commonly referred to as protein crops, indeed play a specific role in
the organic sector. Firstly, because as leguminous plants which fix nitrogen they have a
high rotational value in the organic production systems (contributing to maintain the
fertility of soils). Secondly, because they play an important role in organic animal feed as
they can substitute other protein feed ingredients (e.g. organic soybeans) which may be
difficult to procure. In addition, the use of on-farm cultivated protein crops for organic
animal feed in mixed crop-livestock production systems ensures the traceability of
protein feed ingredients. It is estimated that 104 000 ha of organic dried pulses were
cultivated in 2007 in the EU, of which 75% in the EU-15 and 25% in the EU-12. Organic
dried pulses represent 7.0% of total EU dried pulse area. However, their share is higher
than 20% in several Member States: Denmark (20.2%), Germany (20.9%), Lithuania
28
(35.9%), Austria (32.8%), Sweden (60.5%) and in Finland where virtually all areas
would be organic (5 240 ha in 2007).
Graph 21. Organic dried pulse area in 2007 (ha)
30.000
25.000
20.000
15.000
10.000
5.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
LU
HU
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Source: Eurostat data, 2008 for FI and RO, 2004 for LU. DE: data communicated by BMELV
1.4.4
Vegetables
Graph 22. Organic vegetable area in the EU in 2007 (ha)13
45.000
40.000
35.000
30.000
25.000
20.000
15.000
10.000
5.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
LU
HU
MT
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Source: Eurostat, EU-CEE-OFP for FI and UK, 2004 for LU and MT
13
The vegetable aggregate of Eurostat excludes potatoes and dried pulses. For the United Kingdom we retain the
estimates of project EU-CEE-OFP which provide an area under organic vegetables around 5 000 ha whereas the
official data exceed 10 000 ha. It seems that they include dried pulses (which are not part of the vegetable
aggregate).
29
The vegetable sector represents a minor part of the organic area: 91 900 ha in 2007 out
of 6.6 mio ha (1.4%). Most of the area is concentrated in the EU-15 (84 600 ha, 93.5% of
all EU-27 area). Italy is by far the Member State with the largest area of organic
vegetables (almost 40 000 ha), Germany follows with 11 300 ha, France being third with
9 200 ha. Spain stands at 7 000 ha whereas the United Kingdom accounts for 5 000 ha.
We should not forget the Netherlands which with 3 700 ha is also an important player
(vegetables represent 7.5% of all national organic area in comparison with 1.3% on
average in the EU-27 – 1.4% in the EU-15 -), all the more so that an important part of
this area is under cover. The relative importance of the organic sector in the overall
vegetable sector is the largest in Denmark (13.9% of all vegetable area) and Austria
(11.3%). Among the largest EU vegetable producers it is obviously in Italy that the
organic sector has the highest share with 9.3%. In comparison, Spain's interest in the
sector is rather modest with only 1.5%, although it is the second largest EU producer of
vegetables after Italy. France comes in between with 3.9%. Finally, in the Netherlands
the organic sector represents 4.8% of the total vegetable area. With 7 400 ha, the
vegetable sector is under-developed in the EU-12. In absolute terms it is in Hungary and
Poland where the area devoted to vegetables is the largest (almost 1 900 ha in Hungary
and 1 700 ha in Poland). For the EU-12 organic vegetable areas represents 0.9% of all
vegetable areas in 2006. The corresponding figures for the EU-15 and EU-27 are
respectively 5.0 and 3.9%.
1.4.3
Permanent crops
Graph 23. Major permanent crops (ha and % of EU total) in 2006 (source Eurostat)
92.645 ha
20%
24.329 ha
4%
64.908 ha
11%
Citrus
83.656 ha
15%
Nuts
Grape
EU-27
permanent
crops
546 114 ha
Olives
Other
280.576 ha
50%
We devote a special sub-section to permanent crops because they are an important
category, fruit being an important product on the organic market, and because this part of
the organic sector is rather well documented in terms of statistical data. At the EU level
the organic area of permanent crops amounts to 0.54 mio ha, i.e. 8.1% of all organic
30
areas. This makes 4.5% of the EU-27 total area under permanent crops in 2006 (2.6% in
the EU-12 and 4.7% in the EU-15). The EU-12 represents a minor share of total EU
organic permanent crop area, although it is increasing: its share has increased from 0.6%
of the EU-27 permanent crop area in 1999 to 5.9% in 2006.
It comes with no surprise that the Member States with the largest organic areas are EU
Mediterranean Member States, with the notable exception of Poland: Italy (209 000 ha in
2007), Spain (164 600 ha), Greece (61 100 ha), Poland (50 000 ha), France (32 100 ha)
and Portugal (27 700 ha). France, Italy and Spain are the three largest producers of
permanent crops in the EU, however their involvement in the organic sector differs
largely: in Italy 8.2% of all permanent crop areas are under the organic sector, whereas in
Spain (the largest EU producer) it is 3.3% and in France 2.5%. Greece provides
significant support to the sector through the agri-environment payments which has
prompted a dynamic development in the last years. Hence, the organic sector represents
in 2007 6.2% of the total permanent crop areas in this Member State. In Portugal the
organic sector represents a more modest 3.6%. In Poland the organic sector represents a
rather high 5.4% of all areas under permanent crops.
Data are very scarce regarding organic stone and pip fruit. Hence, although apples are
the main fruit produced in the EU, data on organic areas are very incomplete. We will
provide data herebelow on four major categories: citrus, grapes, olives and nuts, for
which data are quite complete, at least for the EU-15, and time-series are available.
Graph 24. Citrus organic area in Greece, Italy and Spain (ha)
25.000
20.000
15.000
10.000
5.000
0
Greece
Spain
Italy
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
1.469
1.758
2.069
1.856
2.073
2.168
2.002
2.571
2.015
810
901
909
1.159
1.382
1.587
1.810
2.184
3.165
12.488
15.384
18.296
18.868
16.749
15.043
18.044
19.549
22.062
Source: Eurostat data and EU-CEE-OFP data for 2001 in Greece and 2002 in Spain
The organic citrus sector has seen a dynamic development in the last 15 years in the EU.
The sector is concentrated around three Member States only: Italy, Greece and Spain.
Besides, Cyprus is developing a sector which is still tiny (52 ha in 2007). However, the
lion share is borne by Italy where the area exceeds 20 000 ha in 2007. By contrast, in
Spain the sector amounts to around 3 000 ha in 2007, but it is developing. Compared
with the total area under citrus, a rather impressive 12.8% of citrus areas is organic in
Italy, 3.7% in Greece and 1.0% in Spain, which is by far the largest EU producer of
citrus fruit but has displayed so far the lowest interest for the organic sector. The lower
31
significance of the organic sector in permanent crops in Spain in comparison with other
Southern EU Member States is probably at least partly due to lower support (at least in
comparison with Greece and Italy).
EU organic vineyards are for the vast majority located in the EU-15. Out of a total of
87 800 ha in the EU-27, 86 200 ha were located in the EU-15 and 1 600 ha in the EU-12.
Within the EU-12, Hungary presents the largest area, close to 600 ha. It is considered
that wine production from grapes is the overwhelming use of organic grapes, besides
processing into grape juice and dried grapes. Table grape is still very limited, e.g. less
than 1% of the organic grape area in France. The importance of organic grape in the total
grape area in 2007 is the largest in Austria (5.6%), Italy (4.7%) and Greece (4.2%). In
France and Germany the share is at 2.7% whereas in Spain, Portugal and Hungary it is
only 1.5, 0.9 and 0.7% respectively. One can note that the organic vineyard area was
very high in Italy in 2001 and 2002 which is due to a sudden increase of areas under
conversion which do not seem to have completed this process. A similar pattern seems to
apply to the olive sector in 2001 for the same Member State.
Graph 25. Organic vineyard area in the EU-15 (ha)
50.000
45.000
40.000
35.000
30.000
25.000
20.000
15.000
10.000
5.000
0
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
EL
1.566
2.147
2.369
2.596
2.599
3.168
3.303
3.955
4.603
4.561
ES
5.729
8.768
10.804
11.841
16.038
16.453
14.928
15.991
16.832
17.189
FR
7.896
10.212
12.364
13.426
15.013
16.259
16.428
18.133
18.808
22.509
AT
650
701
668
890
1.084
1.535
1.657
1.791
1.766
2.477
PT
782
855
791
705
575
839
1.002
1.240
1.178
2.021
IT
27.005
27.587
31.249
44.175
37.379
31.709
31.170
33.885
37.694
36.684
Source: Eurostat, for AT, EL and ES, some gaps filled with EU-CEE-OFP project
Olive groves represent 50% of all organic permanent crops. In 2007 there were
275 000 ha of organic olive groves, most in Italy, Spain and Greece14. That represented
7.0% of all EU olive areas and 9.4% for Italy, 6.4% for Greece and a rather high (in
comparison with other permanent crops) 3.8% for Spain. The largest part of organic
olives is utilised for the production of oil. The production of table olives is more
problematic due to the fact that the appearance of the fruit is essential.
14
Note that data presented in Graph 23 are not exactly the same as they apply to 2006 (data for 2007 were not
complete).
32
Graph 26. Organic olive area in Greece, Italy and Spain (ha)
140.000
120.000
100.000
80.000
60.000
40.000
20.000
0
Greece
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
9.475
12.085
13.045
15.500
14.595
17.341
25.811
39.636
59.999
51.923
Spain
59.011
65.018
71.351
82.246
85.967
91.209
90.042
91.485
93.432
94.251
Italy
48.435
85.483
93.863
121.363
102.055
86.201
88.963
106.938
107.233
109.992
Portugal
13.743
19.451
19.233
23.089
18.915
19.886
20.694
22.404
19.341
18.409
Source: Eurostat (and EU-CEE-OFP data for 2001 in PT and 2002 in ES)
In 2007, there were 65 300 ha of organic nuts in the EU, of which only 1 200 ha in the
EU-12 (of which 700 in Slovakia and 360 in Hungary). In the EU-15, organic nuts are
primarily located in Spain (49 000 ha) and Italy (5 600 ha). For these two Member States
this represents respectively 8.4 and 3.7% of their total nuts area. It is interesting to note
that, among permanent crops, it is in the case of nuts that the interest in the organic
sector has been the highest in Spain.
At the EU level it is not surprising that in the nuts and olive sectors the share of organic
areas in the total is the highest in 2006 (7.0% for nuts and 5.8% for olives) since these
two types of production face a high demand on the market (especially organic olive oil)
together with lower difficulties in conducing production from an agronomic point of
view. This cannot be said for instance of grape production as vines are very sensitive to
diseases15, hence only 2.3% of vineyard areas are under organic production. This does
not seem to apply to organic citrus area which stands only at 4.3% of the whole citrus
sector (but is quite high in Italy). Here it is probably the rather late interest of producers
in Spain – by far the largest EU citrus producer – which explains this low figure.
2.2.
Animal sector
Statistics on the number of organic animals are incomplete and do not allow drawing a
comprehensive picture of the sector, in addition a number of data do not seem to reflect
the reality, and this problem seems to be more pronounced in the animal sector than for
areas in the crop sector. It is hoped that in the next few years the situation will improve.
15
Cultivation of organic vines for wine or table grape is in particular more delicate in humid climates. The use of
copper (which is an important product to fight a range of diseases – fungi and bacteria – in the vegetable, fruit
and grape sectors) is limited to 6 kg/ha/year under EU organic legislation.
33
Similarly to the crop sector, the organic animal sector is developing at a fast pace in the
EU. This is obvious in the EU-15, see Table 6, and for the EU-12 as well, although only
short time series are available for the latter.
Table 6. Evolution of animals under organic production in the EU-15 (mio heads)
Average
annual
increase
%
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
Cattle
1,54
1,77
1,82
1,88
1,98
2,07
6,1
Pigs
0,39
0,46
0,48
0,57
0,59
0,81
15,5
Poultry
14,15
15,42
16,47
16,69
18,91
19,08
6,2
Sheep
2,05
2,03
2,05
2,39
2,67
2,99
7,8
Goats
0,24
0,41
0,40
0,51
0,54
0,64
22,2
Sources: Eurostat, EU-CEE-OFP, Member State communications and AGRI estimates
Graph 27. Share of the organic sector in animal sub-sectors (% of total herd, 2007)
7,0
6,0
5,0
4,0
3,0
2,0
1,0
0,0
Cattle
Dairy cows
Pigs
Sheep
Goats
EU-12
2,5
1,0
0,1
2,8
1,1
EU-15
2,7
2,7
0,6
3,6
5,7
EU-27
2,7
2,3
0,5
3,5
5,0
Source: elaborated by DG AGRI (see sources of Graphs 28 to 32)
The share of organic production within total production varies according to the different
animal sectors. Not surprisingly it is for the pork sector that the sector has the lowest
weight. This stems partly from the difficulties posed by the provision of organic animal
feed (compound feed). Conversely it is not surprising that the highest shares are found in
the sheep and goat sectors (well identified products, feed based mainly on roughage).
Apart from sheep and goats, due to lower difficulties to convert to organic production,
the ruminant sector tends to develop faster than other livestock sectors. Feed supply is
indeed easier to implement in this sector (permanent pastures can be easily converted
towards organic production) than for poultry or pig sectors where there is more reliance
on the availability of grains and organic compound feed16. This explains why market
16
Yet, the necessity to provide a substantial part of feed to the animals on the farm (50% at least in the EU
legislation) may constrain the development of the organic sector in areas which are short of land (e.g. in the case
of Denmark).
34
difficulties in the organic livestock sector in the last ten years affected more the organic
dairy sector (in particular in Denmark and in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s)
when supply increased at a faster pace than demand. However, with the establishment of
an adequate supply chain, these problems seem to be relegated to the past. However, the
situation could be different in EU-12 Member States where the organic supply chains are
in a phase of development.
In 2007 there were 2.4 mio heads of certified cattle animals in the EU-27. The largest
producers of organic cattle are Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Italy. For
Germany, the organic sector represents 4.3% of the whole bovine sector. The importance
of the organic sector in relation with the whole bovine sector is the highest in Austria
(17.1%), Latvia (12.7%), the Czech Republic (10.1%) and Denmark (8.6%). In France,
the largest EU bovine producer with 19.1 mio heads, the organic sector represents 0.7%
of the sector. Interestingly, the share of the organic sector is higher in the EU-12 with
3.7% than in the EU-15 (2.7%). This is explained by the fast development of the sector
in particular in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and in the Baltic Member States where
organic areas under permanent pastures have developed fast as well.
Graph 28. Number of certified cattle in 2007 (heads)
600.000
500.000
400.000
300.000
200.000
100.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
LV
LT
LU
HU
MT
NL
AT
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Source: Eurostat, data communicated by BMELV for DE, EU-CEE-OFP for FR, 2002 for LU, 2005 for
PT, 2006 for RO, no data for CY
In the EU-15 the total number of organic cattle has increased from 1.5 mio heads in 2002
to almost 2.1 in 2007, an average annual increase of 6.1%.
Organic milk is considered the most successful organic animal product. There were
0.55 mio certified organic dairy cows in the EU in 2007, 2.3% of all EU dairy cows. In
the EU-15, the organic sector represents 2.7% of all dairy cows, in the EU-12, this figure
falls to 0.9%. Among the EU-12 Member States, the three Baltic have already rather
high shares (respectively 2.6, 2.1 and 2.1% for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Member
States where the organic sector holds the largest share are Austria with 15.6% of all dairy
cows, Denmark (9.6%) and Italy (3.2%). In Germany, the largest EU dairy producer, the
significance of the organic sector stands at 2.5% of all dairy cows. For France, second
largest EU dairy producer, it stands at 1.6%.
35
Graph 29. Number of certified dairy cows in the EU in 2007 (heads)
120.000
100.000
80.000
60.000
40.000
20.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
LU
HU
MT
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Sources: Eurostat; 2006 BG, DK, RO, SE; 2005 UK. Data communicated by the Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development for PL (bovine mixed types and dairy), data communicated by BMELV for DE,
PT AGRI estimate
The organic pig herd amounts to 0.85 mio heads in 2007. The largest producers would be
Germany with 0.19 mio heads (Greece declared 0.20 mio heads in 2007 but this figure
sharply declined in 2008 to 61 000). In Greece, organic pig production started virtually
from zero in the early 2000s. The organic pig sector still holds of very minor share in the
EU pig market. It is much more important in the EU-15 (0.65%) than in the EU-12
where it represents only 0.1% of the sector.
Graph 30. Number of certified organic pigs in 2007 (heads)
200.000
180.000
160.000
140.000
120.000
100.000
80.000
60.000
40.000
20.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
lu
HU
MT
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Source: Eurostat, estimates for FR, data communicated by BMELV for DE, 2006 for DK and RO, 2005 for
PT, no data for LU. 2008 for Greece
36
The ovine sector is dominated by two Member States, Italy and the United Kingdom,
which stand at a par with each 0.85 mio animals in 2007, representing together 52% of
the entire EU organic herd (3.4 mio heads). However, the significance of the organic
sector in the overall ovine sector in the UK stands only at 3.7% whereas it exceeds
slightly 10% in Italy. With a distance, Greece comes third with more than 0.4 mio heads.
In the case of Greece and Italy the sector is clearly oriented towards the production of
milk and processing into cheese (organic Feta in the case of Greece) whereas in the
United Kingdom the sector is focused towards meat production. Interestingly, in several
EU-12 Member States the organic sector represents a sizeable part of the total ovine
sector, even if absolute figures remain modest: it represents 25-32% of the overall sector
in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia. In the EU-15
the highest shares are more modest: 23.9% in Austria and 12.7% in Denmark.
Graph 31. Number of certified organic sheep in 2007 (heads)
1.000.000
900.000
800.000
700.000
600.000
500.000
400.000
300.000
200.000
100.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
LU
HU
MT
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Source: Eurostat data, Agence Bio for FR, DE estimates of EU-CEE-OFP for 2006, LU 2002, HU 2003
(Hrábalova et al. 2005), PT 2005, 2006 for DK and RO
The organic goat sector would count almost 0.7 mio heads. It appears rather concentrated
geographically as it is represented essentially in Greece with 0.4 mio heads (8.1% of all
goats in Greece). Italy follows with a herd of one-fourth that size (and 10.2% of the
overall Italian sector). Again, in the case of Greece the sector is essentially focused on
the production of organic Feta. In most Member States the sector is specialised on the
production of organic cheese. The organic herd represents a sizeable part of the total herd
in several Member States of the EU-12 (28.8% in the Czech Republic, 14.3% in Estonia,
25.7% in Latvia and 20.6% in Slovenia) and of the EU-15 (13.9% in Germany, 14.5% in
Sweden and an impressive 50.0% in Austria).
37
Graph 32. Number of certified organic goats in 2007 (heads)
450.000
400.000
350.000
300.000
250.000
200.000
150.000
100.000
50.000
0
BE
BG
CZ
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
LU
HU
MT
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
FI
SE
UK
Sources: Eurostat, EU-CEE-OFP estimate 2006 for DE, LU 2002, HU 2004, PT 2005, 2006 for DK and
RO
At the EU level, there were 19 mio poultry heads in 2007, of which about a third were
laying hens. The significance of the organic sector in the overall EU poultry sector is
much higher for laying hens than for other poultry. This can be explained by two factors:
on the one hand, strict regulations for organic husbandry and high costs of organic
cereals and oilcakes constrain the development of organic poultry meat. On the other
hand, consumer demand for organic eggs and the willingness of consumers to pay price
premiums is much higher than for poultry meat (Hamm, Gronefled, 2003). France is the
leading Member State in the organic poultry sector with more than 6 mio animals, of
which one-fourth are laying hens.
Graph 33. Number of certified organic poultry and laying hens in 2007 (heads)
7.000.000
6.000.000
5.000.000
4.000.000
3.000.000
2.000.000
1.000.000
0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE IE
EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU MT NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK
Poultry
Laying hens
Sources: Eurostat, EU-CEE-OFP estimate 2006 for DE, LU 2002, HU 2004, PT 2005, 2006 for DK and
RO. No data on laying hens for AT, DE and PT
38
3.
PROCESSING AND MARKETING OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS
3.1.
Processors of organic products
Graph 34. Number of certified processors of organic products in the EU-15
35.000
32.800
30.000
30.300
27.100
25.000
25.086
25.599
21.500
22.800
20.000
18.500
15.000
10.000
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
Source: Eurostat, elaborated DG AGRI (some missing data at MS level estimated by AGRI)
In 2007 there were around 33 800 certified processors17 of organic products in the EU, of
which an estimation of around 1 000 in the EU-12 (data are not available for all Member
States) and of 32 800 for the EU-15. In the EU-15 almost one-fourth of producers of
organic products are also processors whereas it is the case of only 14% of processors in
the EU-12. This reflects in a way the history of development of the sector in the two
parts of the EU: in the EU-15 the sector has been in existence for a longer period with
also a rather strong tradition of on-farm processing (e.g. cheese, etc.) whereas in the EU12, the development of the sector is more recent and without such a tradition. Without
information on the turnover of the sector it is difficult to weigh the importance of the
processing sector in the two parts of the EU. However the ratio of the number of
processors over total organic producers is much higher in the EU-15 (0.21) than in the
EU-12 (0.04) whereas the average sizes of farms in the two are not dramatically different
(see Graph 13). This confirms that the processing sector lags behind the development of
organic agricultural production in the EU-12 in comparison with the EU-15 as it has
been pointed out in different publications (e.g. Slabe, 2005; Hrabalová and
Wollmuthová, 2008). Yet, the number of processors is increasing dynamically in some
Member States such as in the Czech Republic (from 109 in 2003 to 424 in 2008) and in
Hungary (from 217 to 433 in the same period). For products that need to be processed
(e.g. organic milk) the risk is higher for producers that their output has to be sold in the
17
We refer here to all operators certified as processors of organic products, this includes organic farms which,
besides organic agricultural production, are certified for processing as well. Hence, the data may differ from
reports in some Member States where the definitions may be more restrictive (e.g. in France, AgenceBio does
not include organic producers unless they procure more than 50% of the organic raw material outside their
holdings).
39
conventional market owing to the absence of a fully working organic supply chain. In
order to compensate for a lagging domestic processing capacity, higher quantities of raw
material would be exported to other EU Member States (Statistical Office of Slovak
Republic, 2007 for Slovakia or Szente, 2008 for Hungary). For the EU-12, imported
processed products would represent an important share of the domestic organic
consumption (see also Graph 36 which would confirm this for Hungary but not for the
Czech Republic).
Table 7. Number of certified processors of organic products in 2007
Total
Processors
only
%
Producers /
processors
%
Importers /
processors
%
EU-12
1.000
800
80,0
140
14,0
60
7,5
EU-15
32.800
23.650
72,1
7.780
23,7
1.370
5,8
EU-27
33.800
24.450
72,3
7.920
23,4
1.430
5,8
Source: elaboration by DG AGRI from Eurostat data (including AGRI estimates for missing data)
No data for Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia
In the EU-15, the number of certified processors has increased from around 17 800 in
2000 to 32 800 in 2007, at an average rate of growth of 8.5%. The largest numbers of
processors are in Germany (9 400), Italy (7 000) and France (6 400). It is estimated that
the number of certified processors would stand at around 34 800 in 2008, an increase by
about 2 000 from 2007.
3.2.
Retail sales of organic products
Table 8 provides indications on the size of the organic market in most EU Member
States. Missing data do not allow to provide the total for the EU-27. However, for the
EU-15 the organic sector corresponds to 1.9% of household food expenses (household
catering and restaurant consumption excluded). Organic food expenses in the EU-15
reached €14.4 billion in 2006/2007, of which more than 80% in four Member States
only: Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. The organic food market is
sizeable in Austria (almost 5% of the food market) and in Germany, Denmark and
Luxembourg (where it stands within 3.7-3.8%). In the EU-12 Member States for which
data are available, the significance of the organic sector in food consumption is much
lower, below 0.2% for most and reaching the maximum of 0.5% in the Czech Republic.
It is estimated (IFOAM, 2008) that the EU-12 would represent 2% of total organic food
sales at the EU level. Although the paucity of data at the consumer end of the organic
supply chain prevents a comparison of the dynamics of organic production and
consumption in the EU-12, the development of consumption seems to benefit from lower
levels of growth than the one of production. This may imply some difficulties for
producers to sell their products and may endanger the sustainability of the overall sector.
The awareness of consumers regarding organic products counts among critical factors
for the development of the market. Yet the overarching constraint to market growth is
the purchasing power of the consumers.
We need to recall that the above data do not cover catering and restaurant consumption,
which is reported to be a segment with rapid growth. The catering sector is becoming
more important in many Member States such as Italy (estimated at €290 mio in 2009 by
AssoBio), Austria, Denmark, France (purchases by collective catering have increased
from €44 mio to €92 mio from 2008 to 2009 in France according to Agence Bio),
40
Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. This is partly due to pro-active public
institutions policies in favour of organic food in public catering.
Table 8. Significance of the organic sector in food consumption (household food
purchases in the EU18, 2006 or 2007)
Belgium
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Denmark
Germany
Greece
Spain
France
Italy
Cyprus
Luxembourg
Hungary
Netherlands
Austria
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovenia
Finland
Sweden
United Kingdom
EU-15
Sources:
Organic food
Share in total
Organic food
expenses
food expenses expense per capita
mio €
%
€
2007
283
1,3
26,6
2006
1
0,0
0,1
2007
52
0,5
5,0
2006
434
3,8
79,8
2007
5.300
3,7
64,4
2006
60
0,2
5,4
2007
200
0,2
4,5
2007
2.069
1,4
32,4
2007
1.387
1,0
21,4
2006
2
0,1
1,9
2006
41
3,7
86,4
2006
20
0,2
2,0
2007
519
1,8
31,7
2007
739
4,8
89,0
2006
50
0,1
1,3
2006
70
0,4
6,6
2006
2
0,0
0,1
2006
4
0,2
2,0
2006
65
0,6
12,3
2006
379
2,2
41,7
2007
2.835
2,7
41,9
14.381
1,9
35,9
Eurostat for household food expenditures and population
IFOAM (2008) or ORA (2008) for organic food market
Italy: ACNielsen, Assobio and FederBio
Various sources indicate a dynamic increase of organic food consumption in EU
Member States. However, it is difficult to build time series given the lack of suitable data
at Member States and, hence at EU level. We however provide in Graph 35 the evolution
of the organic food retail sales in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom which
are the four largest markets in the EU. On these markets, the increases are quite
impressive: average annual increase of 18.1% for France in the period 2005-2009, 14.0%
for Germany in the period 2000-2008, this strong growth has been spurred by the entry
of all major retailers – including hard discounters – in the market, and 11.9% for the
United Kingdom in the period 2000-2008. The average growth for Italy is the lowest of
the four, yet it still stands at 8.7%. Other national markets in the EU are also growing.
For 2008, the economic crisis seems to have affected only the UK with a little growth of
the market whereas in France, Germany and Italy growth went on unabated. 2009 shows
different evolutions between the United Kingdom and the other three Member States:
18
Eurostat household data cover food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic drinks are not included. These data
do not include either food consumption outside the household (restaurants and catering at workplace). Data on
the organic food market concern household purchases in the retail sector and therefore do not include the
catering sector either. Some adjustments have been made (non food organic products excluded in the case of the
United Kingdom).
41
according to the Soil Association, the organic food market would have retreated by
13.6%. In Germany however, food organic sales would have remained stable
(preliminary data), and the growth of the market would have continued in France and
Italy. For both Germany and Italy, the stability/growth of the organic food sales would
contrast with declines of overall food sales.
Graph 35. Evolution of the retail organic food sales in France, Germany, Italy and the
United Kingdom (€ for FR, DE and IT and GBP for the UK)
3.000
7.000
6.000
2.500
5.000
4.000
1.500
3.000
Million Euro
Million GB Pound
2.000
1.000
2.000
500
0
United Kingdom
Germany
1.000
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
105
121
140
200
260
390
605
802
920
2.050 2.703 3.000 3.100 3.500 3.900 4.602 5.300 5.850
1.564 1.700 2.069 2.561 3.041
France
Italy
0
1.015 1.119 1.213 1.583 1.737 1.940 1.973 1.704
865
1.021 1.058 1.107 1.158 1.261 1.387 1.500 1.684
Sources: Agence Bio for France, DEFRA and Soil Association for the UK (data include catering, which
amounted to GBP16.5 mio in 2009), IFOAM yearbooks (various issues) and Hamm (2009) for Germany
(and organic-world.net for 2008 in Germany). Data communicated by AssoBio for IT (on the basis of
ACNielsen, AssoBio and FederBio data). Data for Italy include non food items sold in organic shops (body
care and cosmetics).
Multiple anecdotal evidences and aggregate figures indicate that the growth of consumer
demand for organic product outpaces the supply by the organic agricultural sector. In the
period 2001-2007 the area under organic agriculture has increased annually by 6.5% on
average in the EU-27, rates are higher for the animal sector yet probably insufficient (in
the period 2002-2007: 6.1% for cattle, 6.2% for poultry, 7.8% for sheep, only the pig
sector fares better – but it starts from lower levels since its development is more recent –
with 15.5%). Several factors explain the delays of the organic agricultural sector to
respond to market demand: in several sub-sectors the supply chains are in the process of
being set up; specific features of the agricultural sector like long production cycles and
crop rotations prevent immediate responses; planning of volumes is more difficult in the
organic sector due to higher technical risks (pest management, climatic conditions) than
in the conventional agriculture.
In these conditions, it is no surprise that trade between Member States and imports from
third countries would increase at a fast pace, although there is no consolidated statistical
evidence supporting this19. Germany is reported to be in deficit since 2006 for poultry,
19
EU trade databases (COMEXT) do not distinguish organic and conventional agricultural and food products.
Only few attempts have been made to assess the amount of organic trade. In the case of Denmark, it is estimated
42
fruit and vegetables, potatoes and compound feed and since 2007 for dairy products
(butter) and cereals (Hamm, 2009). In Italy, volumes of imports from third countries
would have been multiplied by three between 2006 and 2008 (Sinab, 2009). In France,
according to Agence Bio (2009), in 2008 30% of consumed organic food products (in
value) were imported: one-third were tropical products; one-third were products for
which France has no clear advantage (aquaculture, soya, Mediterranean products, etc.)
and one-third products for which France is competitive but lacks temporarily (cereals,
milk, meat, fruit and vegetables).
Graph 36. Estimates of the share of domestic production and imports in organic food
consumption (%)
United Kingdom
Spain
Romania
Portugal
Poland
Luxembourg
Italy
Hungary
Greece
Germany
France
Finland
Czech Republic
Cyprus
Bulgaria
Belgium
Austria
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
Domestic products
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Imported products
Source: ORA, ECOZEPT, BioVista (2008), FR: Agence Bio (2009). In this graph, imports account for
intra-EU trade and extra-EU trade. These are estimates based on expert views and provide orders of
magnitude only.
As a matter of fact, intra-EU trade and imports from third countries would represent an
important part of domestically consumed organic products in most Member States (see
Graph 36). Dependence on imports (whether from EU Member States or third countries)
seems to be particularly high in the EU-12 Member States (for which estimates are
available), with the exception of Poland and the Czech Republic, and concerns primarily
processed products. The lack of processing facilities entails that organic processed food
products consumed in the EU-12 are quite often imported from EU-15 Member States.
One illustration of the increasing importance of the organic market is the large increase
of EU operators certified as importers from third countries which was registered in the
last years, information which is recorded by Eurostat. In the EU-15, this number would
have increased from 1 300 in 2002 to 2 340 in 2007, at the fast pace of 12.4% per year
on average.
that in 2003 organic agricultural and food products imports and exports amounted to €37.4 and €31.1 mio
respectively, representing a mere 0.7 and 0.3% of total agricultural and food trade (Henning Larsen, 2005).
43
Unfortunately, the absence of specific trade data does not allow any thorough analysis of
the evolution of EU international trade in organic products: major supplier countries,
main products, dynamics of development of imports, etc. In particular, it would be useful
to monitor international trade for the most important products and third countries.
Graph 37. Estimates of the significance of major retail channels of the organic food
market (%)
United Kingdom
Sweden
Spain
Slovenia
Slovakia
Romania
Portugal
Poland
Netherlands
Malta
Luxembourg
Italy
Hungary
Greece
Germany
France
Finland
Denmark
Czech Republic
Cyprus
Bulgaria
Belgium
Austria
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
Conventional supermarkets
50%
60%
70%
Specialised (organic, health) shops
80%
90%
100%
Other
Source: ORA, Ecozept, BioVista (2008). IT: data communicated by AssoBio. No estimates for specialised
shops in Sweden.
Various reports indicate that the development of the organic market in the last ten years
has been spurred by a larger availability of organic products in unspecialised retail
chains. Even price discounters have opened their shelves to organic products in
Germany. Unspecialised supermarket chains hold an important role in the already
developed organic markets of Northern EU (Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the United
Kingdom) and Germany to a lower extent. In other Member States like in France and the
Netherlands, although the unspecialised supermarkets have developed strongly they are
still below 50% of the organic food market and specialised organic shops play an
important role. In Spain and Italy, specialised shops hold the highest share and
unspecialised supermarket chains still stand below 30%. In the EU-12, where the
development of organic food market is more recent, it is interesting to note that the
unspecialised supermarkets would hold a very high share already with the notable
exceptions of Poland and Malta. In most EU-12 Member States, large retail chains have
quickly sized a prominent share of the retail food sector in the course of the 1990s. They
have benefitted from the absence of an established specialised organic retail sector in
these Member States and in these conditions are taking the lead in retailing organic
products. Yet, being often multinational companies they may focus less on local sourcing
of their products. In any case, as seen in Table 8, household expenses in the organic food
are still very low in the EU-12. Overall, even if the share of the large unspecialised retail
44
chains is increasing, in absolute terms the specialised organic sector is still projected to
increase (Vaclavik, 2009).
Fruit and vegetables are the most important category of food products that are purchased
by the consumers, with shares in total organic sales between 15-36% in the four largest
EU markets (Table 9). Dairy products are the second most important category with 1624%. Meat products represent roughly 10% of the consumer expenses. Whereas poultry
meat products have a rather limited weight (3% of the organic market in France and the
United Kingdom), eggs are a leading product with shares in the range of 4-8% in the four
largest EU markets.
Table 9. Major organic products on the market (% share of total organic sales)
Germany
2005
17
5
France
2008
16
7
6
3
17
14
13
1
United Kingdom
2008
24
4
6
3
25
5
4
2
Dairy products
Eggs
Red meat
11 (1)
Poultry
Fruit and vegetables
36
Beverages
Bread (2)
13
Frozen products
Pasta (3)
2
Baby food
9
Sources: FR: Agence bio (2009); Germany: Bien, Michels (2007);
United Kingdom: Soil Association (2009), Italy: ISMEA (2007)
(1): includes sausages
(2): includes flour in FR, substitutes in IT and bakery in UK
(3): includes rice for IT
Italy
2006
21
8
15
11
3
2
5
4
The dynamic development of the organic food market in the last years has implications
on the organic sector itself:
•
Overall demand is clearly outpacing supply response. This should contribute to
maintain organic price premiums, which account for the profitability of the sector
given lower yields. This is favourable to the development of the organic sector;
•
In a context of high demand and delayed growth of EU supply, imports from third
countries are likely to play an increasing role, going well beyond the provision of
tropical products. However, the absence of specific trade statistics does not allow to
measure this;
•
An important part of the growth of demand originates from the large unspecialised
retail sector (including hard discounters) which has invested the sector in the last
years. However, the sourcing practices of these chains may differ from the more
traditional forms of retail channels on several aspects which could pressure down
price premiums paid to organic producers and affect the profitability of the sector.
The large retail chains enjoy, indeed, higher leverage power due to their economic
size and often display a higher reliance on global sourcing.
45
46
4.
EU POLICIES AND ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
In this section we review the most important kinds of support which are provided at the
EU level to the organic sector, whether it is specific support to the sector as such with the
agri-environment payments for instance or other supports as part of the Common
Agricultural Policy (CAP), e.g. direct payments. We do not however extend on the
regulatory framework of the sector regarding principles, standards and controls.
4.1.
Measures targeted at the organic sector
4.1.1
Agri-environment payments to farmers practicing organic agriculture
4.1.1.1
Evolution of the agri-environment measures since their creation
With Council Regulation (EEC) 797/8520, the European Community authorized Member
States to provide national support in environmentally sensitive areas (Article 19), this
created the so-called agri-environment payments. Several Member States initiated
support within the so-called Extensification Programme of the Community21. However,
the first recognition of the organic sector at the European Community level came with
Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91 which set the legal framework for the sector.
Environmental protection became an integral part of the Common Agricultural Policy
with the Mac Sharry reform of 1992. A specific regulation - Council Regulation (EEC)
2078/9222 - was published which dealt specifically with EU co-financed agrienvironment measures also known as "accompanying measures". The Agri-environment
Regulation, as it was often referred to, provided a framework to the Member States to
support organic farming. The majority of schemes were implemented from 1994, with
Austria, Finland and Sweden starting from 1995. However some regions in Italy,
Germany and the United Kingdom did not start until 1995 or later. The schemes in
Greece and Spain did not start before 1996. Luxembourg joined last in 1998. In 1999, the
provisions of the Agri-Environment Regulation were incorporated in the Rural
Development Regulation - Council Regulation (EC) 1257/199923 (Articles 22 and 23) as part of the Agenda 2000 CAP reform. The aim of this incorporation was to achieve
coherence within Rural Development Plans. With this new regulation, ceilings of agrienvironment payments were substantially increased.
Support for agricultural production methods "designed to protect the environment and to
maintain the countryside" was given in the period 2000-2006 if the commitments
20
Council Regulation (EEC) 797/85 of 12 March 1985 on improving the efficiency of agricultural structures
(Official Journal of the European Communities L93 of 30 March 1985, p. 1)
21
Commission Regulation (EEC) 4115/88 of 21 December 1988 laying down detailed rules for applying the aid
scheme to promote the extensification of production (Official Journal of the European Community L361 of 29
December 1988, p.13)
22
Council Regulation (EEC) 2078/92 of 30 June 1992 on agricultural production methods compatible with the
requirements of the protection of the environment and the maintenance of the countryside (Official Journal of the
European Community L215 of 30 July 1992, p. 85).
23
Council Regulation (EC) 1257/1999 of 17 May 1999 on support for rural development from the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) (Official Journal of the European Communities L160 of
26 June 1999, p. 80)
47
involved more than the application of good farming practice for at least five years. The
amount paid was calculated per year and hectare.
For the period 2007-2013, Council Regulation (EC) 1698/200524 provides the basis for
agri-environment measures (Article 39). Payment ceilings are similar to those of the
period 2000-2006. Agri-environment measures are part of the thematic Axis 2
"improving the environment and the countryside through support for land management"
of the regulation. Agri-environment payments are conditional upon commitment by the
farmers for five to seven years. Payments for organic commitments are annual and per ha
and are meant to cover the additional costs incurred and the income forgone (e.g. due to
lower yields) as a result of organic production methods. Additionally, where necessary
transaction costs (costs associated with the administration of the measures) can be
covered. Ceilings for agri-environment payments (total public support, i.e. EU part and
national co-financing) are €600 / ha for annual crops, €900 / ha for permanent crops,
€450 / ha for other uses of land25. These ceilings can be exceeded in exceptional
circumstances justified in the rural development programmes, particularly if the
payments are related to the new challenges (e.g. climate change, biodiversity, etc.) as
identified in the Health Check.
4.1.1.2
Analysis for the budgetary period 2000-2006
In 2005, EU-25 budgetary commitments (not actual payments) of public expenditures
(EU plus national funds) for agri-environment measures in organic agriculture amounted
to €0.66 billion, i.e. 17.2% of the total devoted to agri-environment measures (€3.83
billion).
Graph 38 provides the average agri-environment support (calculated from budget
commitments, not actual payments) per hectare at Member State level for the "organic
agriculture" commitment (organic farms may benefit from other agri-environment
payments) in the period 2002-2006 (2004-2006 for EU-10 Member States26). There were
significant variations between Member States. The highest levels were in Cyprus, Greece
and Malta and corresponded mainly to support to permanent crops. Conversely, the level
of support per hectare was relatively low in the Czech Republic because most of the
organic area is made of permanent pastures which received the lowest support
(permanent pastures represented 89% of the total area under organic agriculture in the
Czech Republic in 2006). For an overview of the different rates which were applied by
Member States in 2004/2005 see Stolze and Lampkin (2009).
24
Council Regulation (EC) 1698/2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for
Rural Development (EAFRD) (Official Journal of the European Communities L227 of 21 October 2005, p. 1)
25
These ceilings apply to all agri-environment payments, not only to organic farming. There are also payments
for endangered local animal breeds (€200 per livestock unit).
26
For several EU-10 Member States the averages are calculated only on two years, for other (CY, PL) data for
only one year is available. Hence possible reporting errors may impact significantly the average levels shown in
the report.
48
Graph 38. Average agri-environment support "organic commitment" 2002-2006 (€/ha)
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
BE CZ DK DE EE EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU MT NL AT PL PT SI SK FI SE UK
EU- EU15 25
Average premium 247 46 78 175 85 609 153 178 254 656 120 277 173 107 615 148 291 135 134 249 101 117 130 87 187 170
Source: DG AGRI, average 2002-2006 for EU-15 Member States (except 2002-2005 for FR and EU-15
aggregate). 2004-2006 for EU-12 Member States, except: 2004-2005 (EE, LT), 2005 (CY, PL), 2005-2006
(SK, HU, MT). 2004-2005 for EU-25. No data for IE ("organic commitment" not singled out in the overall
agri-environment measures). Data show budget commitments, not actual payments.
A sizeable part of the area under organic production in the EU benefitted from the
organic-specific support provided with the EU-funded agri-environment measures. In the
period 2004-2006, 46% of the EU-2527 organic area would have benefited from such
support. Graph 39 indicates that, at that time, there were two distinct groups of Member
States: in the first group which includes mainly Northern EU Member States (Austria28,
Belgium, Denmark, Finland Germany and Luxembourg) and several EU-10 Member
States (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia) more than
60% of all organic areas would have benefitted from the organic agri-environment
support. In the case of the concerned EU-10 Member States, this is quite remarkable
since they had joined the EU only in 2004, indicating a fast implementation of the
measures. For the other Member States, the area coverage would have been lower than
50%. It was lower than 30% for Portugal, Poland, Greece, Cyprus and the United
Kingdom. For some of the new Member States, the low levels may be attributed partly to
the fact that, since accession, they had have little time to establish and implement the
measures.
27
Sweden is not taken into consideration since some areas, which are not certified as organic, could be eligible
to support.
28
In the case of Austria, if the area under Alpine pastures was not counted the share of area supported would be
88.6%.
49
Graph 39. Share of organic area benefitting from agri-environment "organic
commitment" support (% average 2002-2006 for EU-15 MS and 2004-2006 for EU-10
MS)
100,0
90,0
80,0
70,0
60,0
50,0
40,0
30,0
20,0
10,0
0,0
FI
SK
LV
DK
CZ
SI
EE
DE
LU
BE
HU
AT
LT
EU25
FR
EU15
PL
IT
MT
ES
NL
CY
PT
EL
% 94,4 89,9 89,2 88,7 86,7 84,9 81,5 74,7 74,5 74,1 71,7 65,6 53,4 46,1 45,8 43,5 43,2 41,7 38,2 36,5 34,2 26,7 26,5 24,9
UK
9,6
Source: DG AGRI for agri-environment support, Eurostat for area data. Data show commitments, not
actual payments. Sweden not taken into account as support can also be provided to non certified organic
producers, No data for IE (see previous graph). For ES the area under woodland is not taken in
consideration. Averages EU-15 and EU-25 are without IE and SE. For each MS and aggregates the
periods taken into consideration are as in previous graph (except UK for which 2002 has been excluded as
the area covered by the measure was very low (less than 100 ha).
4.1.1.3
Analysis for current Financial Period (2007-2013)
Due to lack of data, it is not possible to provide a comprehensive analysis of the levels of
support and the coverage for organic farming in terms of areas for the agri-environment
measures for the current Financial Period. However, the European Commission will
launch in late 2010 a study on public supports to organic agriculture which should
provide an in-depth analysis of the implementation of the agri-environment measures.
The results of the study should be available in the course of 2011.
At the EU level, and for the totality of the period 2007-2013, Member States have
earmarked for the agri-environment measures approximately €22 billion out of 96 billion
of the entire EU funds (approx. 23% of the funds made available from the European
Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, EAFRD). With that amount, Member States
expect to provide support for more than 50 million hectares which will be subject to agrienvironmental contracts.
Since the beginning of the current Financial Period until October 2009, EAFRD
expenditures actually made for the agri-environment measure in the EU-27 amounted to
a total of €6.06 billion29 – the measure with the highest expenditure declared out of all
rural development measures. This represented a financial implementation status of 30%
of the earmarked budget which shows a high speed of implementation by Member
29
All agri-environment payments, agri-environment payments for organic farming cannot be singled out.
50
States. A look at the aggregated outputs realised by all Member States in the years 2007
and 2008 also reveals high rates of implementation as regards the number of contracts
signed, the number of holdings supported and the area under agri-environment schemes
with 21%, 26% and 44% of targets reached respectively for 2007-2013. This covers all
agri-environment payments, not just payments specific to organic farming.
Similarly to the period 2000-2006, for the period 2007-2013 support to the organic sector
through the implementation of the agri-environment payments varies according to the
Member States and even according to regions in the Member States where rural
development programmes are implemented at this level. Depending on Member States /
regions, Rural Development Programmes provide payment only to areas under
conversion or to areas under conversion and to converted areas (applying or not
differentiated rates, most often payments being lower for converted areas). Support can
vary quite substantially within one Member State: for instance in the case of France all
regions provide support to conversion but only nine out of 21 provide support to
converted areas30. Agri-environment payments are often reduced for areas exceeding a
certain threshold. The heterogeneity of support to the organic sector among Member
States provides one element of explanation to the various dynamics of the sector.
4.1.1.4
Some elements on the impact of the agri-environment payments on the
dynamics of development of the organic sector
Various analyses suggest that the dynamics of development of the organic sector is
correlated with the support which is provided to it. We have already pointed to the
impact of changes in support in Italy on the number of organic producers (see Nicholas
et al. 2006). In Austria the initial development of the sector was boosted by the support
provided, however since 2000 support measures alone are no longer sufficient to
effectively increase the number of organic farms (Gleirscher, 2008). The dynamic
development of the sector in some of the EU-12 is attributed to support policies (e.g.
Hrabalová and Wollmuthová, 2008). Some empirical studies (e.g. Daugbjerg et al. 2008
in the case of Denmark and the United Kingdom or Läpple and Donnellan 2009 in the
case of the drystock sector in Ireland) tend to confirm this.
However, as various papers pointed out (see e.g. Padel et al. (1999), Nicholas et al.
(2006)) support policies and their variations alone do not explain totally the different
rates of conversion to organic farming in the EU. A more comprehensive analysis over a
long period with adequate information on support measures and their changes in the
period in the Member States would be necessary for a good grasp of the contribution of
the support policies to the development of the sector. In Graph 40 we plot the share of
the organic area supported by agri-environment measures on average in 2002-2006 (x
axis, percent) with the share of the organic area in total UAA in 2006 in the EU-15
Member States (y axis, percent). It is difficult to draw unequivocal conclusions from the
graph31. For instance the share of area supported by agri-environment measures is the
lowest in the United Kingdom, yet the organic sector represents almost 4% of the total
UAA, larger than in several Member States with higher area coverage of support. In
30
For a recent overview of the implementation of agri-environment measures at Member State / regional level
for the period 2007-2013 see for instance Pohl (2009).
31
Using the average level of premiums in the period 2002-2006 instead of the share of the organic area which
receives support does not lead to better conclusions.
51
Greece and Portugal the share of total organic area supported is rather modest (around
25%), yet the organic sector is above 6% for the two Member States.
Graph 40. Coverage of agri-environment support (% of total organic area, average
2002-2006) and share of the organic area in total UAA (2006, %)
16,0
AT
14,0
% organic area in total UAA 2006
12,0
10,0
8,0
IT
EL
PT
FI
6,0
DK
DE
4,0
UK
LU
ES
NL
2,0
BE
FR
0,0
0,0
10,0
20,0
30,0
40,0
50,0
60,0
70,0
80,0
90,0
100,0
% area supported by AEM in total organic area (2002-2006)
Source: elaborated by DG AGRI with Eurostat AGRI data
Among other factors that impact the development of the sector are market demand
(marketing outlets, price premium), the economic environment in which conversion
takes place and institutional support for organic farming (see Padel et al. 1999).
According to the ex post evaluation of the rural development programmes for the period
2000-2006, most Member States and regions considered support to organic farming as an
important sub-measure that should be kept and strengthened in the future, especially in
order not to lose the positive long-term effects on the environment of already started
initiatives. Only very few Member States reported serious constraints to the
implementation of this measure.
4.1.2
Other measures targeting the organic sector
While the support granted to organic farms on the basis of the agri-environmental
measures is likely to be the most important support tool, organic farms may also benefit
from other rural development measures like any other farms. For instance, several
measures under Axis 1 of the EU rural development policy are of interest to organic
farmers although they are usually not targeted specifically: measure 121 on farm
modernization, training and advisory services (measures 111, 114 and 115), investments
in processing and marketing (measures 123 and 124), food quality schemes, producer
groups (measures 132, 133 and 142). Some Member States / regions assign higher
priority to support the organic sector through these measures and provide for higher
levels of support than for conventional farming. However, there are also measures under
Axis 3 which could support the long-term competitiveness of organic farms (e.g. support
to the diversification into non-agricultural activities or tourism projects).
52
Beyond the Rural Development Policy of the EU it is worth mentioning that, in the
sector of fruit and vegetables, EU co-funding of the operational programmes
implemented by the Producer Organisations (POs) is higher in a number of cases, of
which organic fruit and vegetables is one (from 50% in the normal cases to 60%). This is
one of the outcomes of the reform of the sector that entered into force in January 200832.
Preliminary data indicate that, in 2008, 101 POs (8% of all POs) would have
implemented an action related to organic production in their Operational Programme, for
a total amount of €8.5 mio (i.e. 0.7% of the overall amount of operational programmes).
Given that this was the first year of implementation of this measure, this seems rather
promising.
With the CAP reform of the Health Check, Member States have been granted the
possibility to use up to 10% of their national ceilings for direct payments to finance
specific support measures targeting various objectives such as support to specific types
of farming which are important for the protection or enhancement of the environment or
improving the quality of agricultural products (Article 68 of Council Regulation (EC)
73/200933). Within this framework, Member States have the possibility to develop
measures which target specifically the organic sector. This is the case of France,
Romania and Spain: France will provide support to the conversion and the maintenance
of organic farming; Romania will provide support to the improvement of quality in the
organic sector; Spain will provide support to the production of organic pulses.
Regarding promotion, organic products may benefit from EU co-financing for certain
information and provisions measures, subject to the conditions laid down by Council
Regulation 3/2008 and Commission Regulation 501/200834. An annual indicative budget
of €3 mio is currently earmarked for the sector and the measures may be implemented
either in third countries or on the internal market. It is also worth mentioning the EUwide promotional campaign targeting specifically the organic sector that the Commission
launched in the year 2006. This successful campaign was due to end by March 2010.
Finally, a new EU organic logo was unveiled in February 2010 which will be obligatory
on pre-packaged organic products from July 2010.
32
This concerns operational programmes which have been adapted to the new Common Market Organisation or
new operational programmes set up in 2008. Old operational programmes which have not been changed
according to the new regulation are not taken into consideration.
33
Council Regulation (EC) 73/2009 of 19 January 2009 establishing common rules for direct support schemes
for farmers under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers,
amending Regulations (EC) 1290/2005, (EC) 247/2006, (EC) 378/2007 and repealing Regulation (EC)
1782/2003 (Official Journal of the EU, L30 of 31 January 2009, p. 30).
34
Council Regulation (EC) 3/2008 of 17 December 2007 on information provision and promotion measures for
agricultural products on the internal market and third countries (Official Journal of the EU, L 3 of 5 January
2008, p. 1) and Commission Regulation (EC) 501/2008 of 5 June 2008 laying down detailed rules for the
application of Council Regulation (EC) 3/2008 (Official Journal of the EU L147 of 6 June 2008, p. 3).
53
4.2.
Other forms of support
Besides specifically targeted support, the organic farms have access to all the measures
of first and second Pillars35 of the CAP provided that they meet the eligibility conditions
(direct payments, less favoured area support, rural development measures, etc.).
It has often been said that historically the CAP put organic farms at a disadvantage since
it was more oriented towards intensive agricultural production systems, whereas organic
agriculture is based on more extensive production. CAP reforms implemented since 1992
have gradually diminished this disadvantage. The CAP reform of 2003 went further that
road with the introduction of the decoupled single farm payment. This was generalised to
almost all agricultural sectors with the Health Check in 2008. These reforms should
bring positive impacts to the organic sector. In particular, by severing the link between
eligibility to payment and production decision, the reforms provide more freedom of
choice to organic farmers in their multi-annual rotation programmes which are an
essential feature of their production method. Moreover, payments being independent
from the level of production or number of animals on the farm, new entrants to organic
farming no longer have to forego EU support because of readjustments in their cropping
pattern implemented to meet organic production standards. Finally, the implementation
of the single farm payments provides room for manoeuvre to the Member States to
reallocate first Pillar support more evenly among farmers (with the so-called regional
implementation of the reform of 200336) by allowing Member States to depart from the
reference of historical levels received by the farmers (see for instance Schmidt, Sinabell,
2006 or Offermann et al. 2009). With the Health Check, these possibilities have been
increased further. Yet it is up to the Member States to decide whether to improve the
distribution of support among their farmers. As regards the EU-12, the existence of flatrate payments - the so-called single area payment scheme (SAPS) - has established a
level playing field with conventional farming immediately from accession, which has
probably contributed to boost the sector.
From a larger perspective, the EU policies provide a comprehensive tool box37 which can
be mobilised by the Member States to provide support to their organic sector, even
though the agri-environment payments are obviously the most important tool. However,
success and balanced development of the organic sector depend on the implementation
of a comprehensive strategy which cannot be limited to agri-environment payments only.
The institutional environment surrounding organic farming (research, extension services,
etc.) and the development of supply chain and the market (demand-pull instruments such
as marketing, communication, etc.) are crucial and deserve proper attention. This is why
the support to the sector needs to take place within a comprehensive strategy38 which
35
The so-called first Pillar of the CAP relates to direct payments and market measures and the second Pillar
relates to rural development measures (which include agri-environment payments).
36
Offermann et al. (2009) indicate that dairy farms in Denmark and Germany and arable farms in Denmark in
the organic sector would have benefitted from this redistribution.
37
This support extends to the financing of research. For the 6th Framework programme this concerned 65
projects. In the period 1990-2006 the EU would have financed a total of €64.2 mio for research in organic
agriculture (Stolze, Lampkin, 2009).
38
See Action 6 of the European Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming whereby the Commission promotes
the adoption of national or regional action plans making full use of the possibilities available in the EU rural
development policy for the development of the sector (COM(2004)415 final and SEC(2004) 739).
54
does not rely only on agri-environment payments. However not all Member States
implement such a strategy (see for instance Pohl, 2009, or Slabe et al., 2006). In
particular in some of the EU-12 Member States where the sector is more in its infancy, a
(quasi) exclusive focus on agri-environment payments could lead to market imbalances
and the inability of producers to sell their organic products in adequate conditions. On
the other hand, in the Czech Republic a comprehensive strategy for the development of
the sector has been put in place taking advantage, in a structured framework, of the
possibilities of support through EU funding (from agri-environment measures, or support
to investment to the processing industry, to promotional programmes) and this seems to
bear fruit: high growth of area / number of producers, low level of producers leaving the
sector, dynamic development of the processing capacity and around 60% of the domestic
food market share for the Czech organic sector (see Pohl, 2009 or Ministry of
Agriculture of the Czech Republic, 2008).
4.3.
Analysis of payment received by organic holdings on the basis of FADN data
The analysis presented below is based on data from the Farm Accountancy Data
Network (FADN). We explain in the statistical annex the main features of FADN data.
What needs to be clearly spelled out is that in the FADN the representativeness of the
organic data is not guaranteed, therefore the results should be interpreted with caution.
If one considers all subsidies received (subsidies on investment excluded)39, organic
farms would receive on average higher subsidies in absolute terms and per hectare than
conventional farms. This would be due mainly to higher agri-environment payments. In
2007 these would have reached an average of €127 per ha in farms with organic
production against €24 for non organic farms40 in the EU-15 (the corresponding figures
would be €90 and €18 for the EU-10). In the EU-15 in 2007 agri-environment payments
would represent 29% of all subsidies received by farms with organic production, this
share would fall to 7% for non organic farms (in the EU-10 the corresponding figures
would be respectively 28 and 8%). In 2007 Pillar 1 average payments per hectare in the
organic sector represent 85% of the average payments for conventional farms in the EU15 and 92% in the EU-10. Among other factors that account for the difference one can
list:
•
The total level of subsidies received is influenced by the size of the holdings. We
have stressed in section 2.2.2 that organic farms have a larger size than non organic
area;
•
Given that organic farms are more likely to be located in disadvantaged rural areas
where extensive production systems are more predominant, at least in some Member
States (see Häring et al. 2004 for instance), it is not surprising that they benefit on
average from higher less favoured area (LFA) payments (more than twice higher than
the conventional sector in the EU-10);
•
We have seen in the second part of the report that the weight of the different
agricultural sub-sectors is not the same in the organic sector than in the conventional
39
All payments under the CAP but also national payments.
40
These are total agri-environment payments, not just payments for the organic commitment.
55
sector, be it because of different demand on the consumer side or because of
technical constraints. These differences may also have an influence on the average
support received by both types of farms.
56
Table 10. Average subsidies received by conventional and organic farms in the EU-15 and the EU-10 (2000-2007) (€)
2000
2001
2002
EU-15
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2004
EU-10
2005
2006
AVERAGE PAYMENTS PER FARM
Conventional farms
(1) Total (excluding investments)
8.991
10.078
11.602
11.753
12.012
12.451
13.447
12.957
3.581
4.071
5.715
(2) Of which "Pillar 1"
7.364
8.182
9.482
9.522
9.869
10.150
11.129
10.768
2.876
2.408
2.971
(3) Of which "Pilllar 2"
1.480
1.769
1.922
2.003
1.930
2.127
2.164
2.020
443
1.425
2.446
(4) Agri-environment
676
731
835
855
880
942
935
890
90
224
355
(5) Less-favoured areas
427
600
694
713
710
765
775
765
200
447
615
Farms with organic production
(1) Total (excluding investments)
16.133
15.192
17.568
18.432
16.164
17.330
18.123
19.330
9.583
11.642
11.667
(2) Of which "Pillar 1"
8.796
7.705
9.311
9.814
9.066
9.812
10.664
11.082
4.537
4.947
3.585
(3) Of which "Pilllar 2"
7.014
7.218
7.930
8.237
6.785
7.250
7.226
7.986
4.625
6.385
7.754
(4) Agri-environment
5.021
5.112
5.343
5.731
4.945
5.133
5.130
5.585
1.337
2.334
3.395
(5) Less-favoured areas
1.334
1.453
1.644
1.755
1.288
1.421
1.410
1.582
2.641
2.811
2.174
AVERAGE PAYMENTS PER HECTARE
Conventional farms
(1) Total (excluding investments)
297
314
329
328
340
346
371
355
144
161
210
(2) Of which "Pillar 1"
243
255
269
266
280
282
307
295
116
95
109
(3) Of which "Pilllar 2"
49
55
54
56
55
59
60
55
18
56
90
(4) Agri-environment
22
23
24
24
25
26
26
24
4
9
13
(5) Less-favoured areas
14
19
20
20
20
21
21
21
8
18
23
Farms with organic production
(1) Total (excluding investments)
392
384
405
395
393
419
431
438
152
211
331
(2) Of which "Pillar 1"
214
195
215
210
220
237
253
251
72
90
102
(3) Of which "Pilllar 2"
171
182
183
177
165
175
172
181
73
116
220
(4) Agri-environment
122
129
123
123
120
124
122
127
21
42
96
(5) Less-favoured areas
32
37
38
38
31
34
34
36
42
51
62
Source: FADN
Farms with organic production: farms exclusively organic or farms under conversion or not exclusively organic
(1): FADN code SE605; (2): SE610+SE615+SE630; (3): SE620; (4): J800; (5): SE622
The sum of "Pillar 1" and "Pillar 2" does not correspond to "total" as two minor subsidies are not counted (SE625 and SE626). Moreover, "Pillar 1" covers not only
EU CAP direct payments but also possible national coupled aids. "Pillar 2" concerns not only Rural Development payment but also disaster payments, national
subsidies to forestry or of exceptional character.
2007
6.253
2.899
3.033
500
556
11.087
3.276
7.543
3.087
1.941
225
104
109
18
20
324
96
220
90
57
57
58
5.
CONCLUDING COMMENTS
The organic sector is developing at a fast pace in the EU. At farm level the rates of
growth are rather impressive: areas have increased by 6.5% per year on average in the
EU-27 in the period 2000-2008, animal numbers have increased by the range of 6.122.2% annually in the EU-15 depending on species groups. The organic sector represents
a total area of 7.7 mio ha with almost 190 000 holdings in 2008. What is remarkable is
that most of the growth of the sector has taken place in the last 15 years, with the area
multiplied by eight in the period 1993-2008 and the number of holdings by a factor of 6.
Yet absolute levels stay modest since the organic sector still represents only 4.3% of the
total UAA of the EU and between 0.5 and 5.0% of total numbers of animal according to
the species. Organic holdings would represent a mere 1.4% of all EU holdings (2.8% in
the EU-15). Italy has been for a long period the Member State with the largest organic
area, exceeding one million ha since the beginning of the 2000s. However it is out
performed by Spain in 2008 which reached an impressive 1.1 mio ha.
The weight of the sector is rather heterogeneous among Member States. In several (the
Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Austria and Sweden) about 10% or more of the total
UAA was farmed in 2008 according to organic principles (or being converted).
Conversely the organic area was below 3% in 11 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria,
Cyprus, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and
Romania). Several of these Member States display moderate levels of potential growth in
the short term. The organic sector is developing at a remarkable pace in several of the
EU-12 Member States, with five among them with a share above 6% of total UAA. In
the EU-15, trajectories vary among Member States. Some of the "pioneers" in the sector
such as Denmark, Finland, Sweden or Italy seem to have reached a plateau or display
only slow growth. Other pioneers like Austria and Germany seem to continue to grow at
still sustained rates. Among Southern EU, Italy is being caught up by Greece, Spain and
Portugal which have grown fast in the last years (reaching respectively 8.0, 4.4 and 6.3%
of their UAA).
To sum up, the European organic map has extended Eastwards with the development of
the sector in the Member States of central and Eastern Europe. It has also extended
Southwards with several Member States following the path opened by Italy. More and
more, the organic sector has to be reckoned as a common feature of the agricultural
sectors of all Member States. Most certainly, it no longer can be characterised as only a
niche segment of the agricultural sector.
In the EU-12, the organic sector was, until recently, strongly oriented towards extensive
grazing livestock production systems, with permanent pasture areas representing a
prominent share of the total organic area. However, even if permanent pastures represent
a large part of the organic area in the EU-12 (56.5% in 2006), other types of land use are
gaining importance in recent years (e.g. arable crops, permanent crops, etc.). This signals
a welcome diversification of the organic sector which could mitigate potential
imbalances on the market side.
Data from the Farm Structure Survey highlight interesting features of the sector: globally
and at specialisation levels, organic farms are larger in area than conventional farms. In
the livestock sector this not surprising given lower stocking levels and higher use of
extensive grazing. In such specialisation as permanent crops and vegetable production,
59
this is more surprising. In addition, contrary to what is often considered, organic
holdings would be less labour intensive than conventional holdings globally and in most
specialisations, even in the permanent crop and vegetable sub-sectors which are both
labour-intensive. Larger size and better organisation may explain these differences.
Finally, it is worth stressing that the age distributions of organic and conventional
farmers are very different: farmers older than 55 represent 56% of the conventional
sector but only 36% in the organic sector.
The analysis indicates that in the most recent years an estimated area of between 0.80.9 mio ha enters the in-conversion process annually in the EU-27. However for the EU15 this new area seems to be increasing, approaching an estimated 0.7 mio ha in 2008,
whereas in the EU-12 the dynamics seems to be different with increasing areas entering
the in-conversion process until 2006 (more than 0.25 mio ha) and thereafter a decline
(with 0.2 mio ha in 2008). In several EU-12 Member States, the development of the
organic sector appears to have been boosted with the accession but seems to be slowing
down, although it is too early to draw any conclusion.
One part of the dynamics of development of the sector can be attributed to the pulling
effect of a robust demand for food organic products. Another part appears to be linked to
the support which is provided to it through the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU
and especially through dedicated Rural Development measures (agri-environment
payments). Regarding the first Pillar of the CAP, it is necessary to stress that CAP
reforms have gradually put the two types of farming on equal footing since the early
1990s. In the EU-12, where organic food consumption is still very low and less of a
driver of the organic sector as in the EU-15, the remarkable development of the sector
owes primarily to the support provided to the sector and probably also to a favourable
context of deep restructuring and reform of the agricultural sector since the beginning of
the 1990s (new farming structures, new public/private institutions, new agricultural
policy support with level playing field between organic and conventional agriculture).
Yet, the fact that sizeable numbers of producers revert to the conventional sector every
year in the EU reveals a certain fragility of the sector.
In this context, several questions arise regarding the way support is provided to the
sector:
•
Whether it is stable and predictable, hence allows the establishment over several
years of the necessary building blocks of the supply chains (facilitating not only
agricultural production but allowing for processing and marketing channels to
develop, etc.);
•
Whether it consists only in stand-alone measures or is part of a comprehensive
framework which pays sufficient interest at research, extension services and demandpull instruments;
•
Whether it takes proper account of the demand for organic products in the food
market. The time when supply of organic products (e.g. organic milk) could outpace
in some Member State the development of consumer demand, leading to great
difficulties for the producers, seems to be gone. Organic food demand is increasing at
sustained rates in the large EU-15 markets and seems to be quite resilient in the
current difficult economic context. Demand is also developing in the EU-12, yet it
60
stands at very low levels and faces the constraint of household income. However, an
overall increasing demand does not preclude that, in some specific sub-sectors or
Member States, organic products may not immediately find appropriate marketing
conditions due to a lacking or sluggish demand (or absence of supply chain). In the
EU-12, difficulties of this sort may arise owing to current constraints to domestic
demand or the absence of functioning marketing channels to transfer the products
where the demand exists. Hence, as applies for any support measures which
endeavour to enhance the development of any sector, proper attention to market
demand is of primary importance.
All these elements stress the utmost importance of the adoption by concerned
stakeholders and public authorities of multifaceted strategies which combine supply
development policies with the establishment of a comprehensive institutional framework
(including extension services, research) and demand-pull strategies (such as
communication on organic products). This is necessary to achieve a balanced
development of the sector. This necessity was stressed at the EU level with the European
Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming released in 2004.
The demand for organic food products, which has been robust in recent years, has a
pulling effect on the organic farming sector, whose response is delayed for several
reasons. This growth should provide proper conditions for the development of the EU
organic sector in the medium term and ensure the maintenance of price premiums which
contribute to the profitability of the sector. On the other hand, the fact that an important
part of demand growth originates in unspecialised large retail chains whose procurement
practices may differ from the more traditional forms of organic retailing (higher leverage
power due to economic size and more global sourcing), may as well impact the organic
price premiums. The economic recession of 2009 may have affected strongly the growth
of demand for organic products, although data are available only for few Member States.
Whereas organic food consumption has been affected strongly in the United Kingdom
(decline by 13.6%), it would have shown better resilience in Germany, France and Italy
where it remained stable (Germany) or continued growing (France and Italy). Overall,
organic food consumption appears robust and is likely to resume (or accelerate) growth
when the economic crisis will be terminated.
The principles and rules which frame the organic sector demand high technical skills and
an interest for innovative solutions by the concerned farmers. The organic sector is now
extending beyond a mere "niche agriculture" and reaching a certain critical mass. This is
also reflected by an increasing body of dedicated research, which will probably increase
further in the medium term. Hence, it is likely that more solutions will be provided to the
farmers to better cope with the framework set for organic agriculture, be it with better
suited varieties, improved agronomic practices or pest management practices. One
should not forget that, in a context where sustainability and environment protection are
important aspects which apply to the whole EU agricultural sector, the benefits of
organic research (agro-ecological innovations) have a good chance to extend beyond the
remits of the organic sector itself.
The present paper has endeavoured to shed light on the main aspects of the organic
sector in the EU, making use of the existing statistical data. Several elements of the
development of the sector have been depicted. It will be possible to build a more precise
picture of the sector if and when additional data will be available: more complete
production statistics, price information and international trade data.
61
62
6.
STATISTICAL SOURCES AND REFERENCES
Main statistical sources
Agence Bio (2008, 2009), L’agriculture biologique française, Chiffres 2007 (2008)
Central Statistical Office of Hungary (2008) (Aujeszky et al.), Pilot project on organic
production, trade and consumption statistics in Hungary, TAPAS 2007 Action
Central Statistical Office of Hungary (2007), Pilot study on consumption of organic
products in Hungary, final report, report to Eurostat
Eurostat: data on the organic sector (crop products, animal products, operators) available
at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/agriculture/data/database
Foster, C., Lampkin, N. (2000), Organic and in-conversion land area, holdings, livestock
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online in the near future. Some of the findings of this project have been published in a
special issue of Food Policy entirely dedicated to organic farming (vol 34 (3), June
2009). Data from this project have been utilised often to fill gaps with Eurostat data,
however they go until 2006 only.
ISMEA (2007), Il mercato dei prodotti biologici: tendenze generali e nelle principali
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Szeremeta A. (2005), Organic farming and market in Poland, ENOAS summer meeting
IV (www.enoas.org/pol05t)
Vaclavik T. (2009), Specialised organic retail report Europe 2008, BioFach 2009,
powerpoint presentation (http://orgprints.org)
Zakowska-Biemans, S. (2007), Consumers and consumption of organic food in Central
and Eastern European new Member States of the European Union, QLIF Congress:
Improving Sustainability in Organic and Low Input Food Production Systems,
University of Hohenheim (http://orgprints.org)
Zander, K., Thobe, P. (2007), Economic impacts of the adoption of the Common
Agricultural Policy on typical organic farms in selected new Member States, Jahrbuch
der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Agrarökonomie, 16, pp. 85-96
(www.boku.ac.at/oega)
66
STATISTICAL ANNEX
Table 11. Area in the organic sector in the EU (1993-2008)
Table 12. Number of organic producers in the EU (1993-2008)
Comparison of areas and labour in organic and conventional holdings by specialisation
Note on the Farm Accountancy Data Network
67
Table 11. Agricultural area in the organic sector in the EU (in-conversion + certified organic; ha)
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovenia
Slovakia
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom
EU-12
EU-15
EU-27
Sources:
1993
135.982
2.179
1994
192.337
2.683
1995
335.865
3.385
1996
309.089
4.261
1997
345.375
6.819
1998
390.335
11.744
1999
404.086
18.515
12
15.667
19.761
1.600
20.340
87.829
246.458
591
2.540
3.459
88.437
1.250
15.818
20.687
1.600
25.822
94.806
272.139
1.188
2.250
3.390
154.120
1.250
14.127
38.334
3.000
44.695
118.393
309.487
2.401
8.232
8.634
204.494
1.147
16.932
44.989
3.000
84.556
137.084
354.171
5.269
11.397
16.496
334.175
1.200
497
538
571
594
20.241
59.964
3.000
102.342
165.406
398.693
9.949
19.265
18.687
641.149
1.500
1.568
618
71.620
93.201
3.080
116.206
218.775
414.293
15.402
21.565
24.411
785.738
1.426
4.006
744
110.756
165.699
137.294
157.676
4.000
9.875
136.662
147.268
315.771
369.933
452.327
546.023
21.451
26.707
32.609
47.221
29.360
27.231
911.068 1.040.377
1.628
4.400
3.995
4.709
888
1.074
11.150
11.340
12.909
14.456
16.960
22.320
26.355
3.060
7.267
10.719
9.191
12.193
29.533
46.918
100
14.724
11.674
36.674
30.992
150
14.762
17.208
48.039
32.476
200
18.813
24.079
83.490
48.448
200
27.661
103.735
113.995
49.535
200
27.809
141.905
118.705
106.000
214
50.695
242.505
127.329
274.474
2.697
46.386
337.416
155.463
425.945
699.083
884.040 1.245.904 1.581.596 2.144.765 2.767.010 3.419.519
2000
429.167
20.667
286
32.331
25.000
48.066
17.388
5.440
58.466
355.954
174.227
578.803
338.484
3.955.504
4.293.988
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
410.525
425.248
447.978
460.848
479.817
22.452
29.118
23.966
23.728
22.994
539
566
2.038
12.284
14.320
100
166
500
867
1.698
218.114
235.136
254.995
263.299
254.982
168.372
174.328
165.097
156.699
145.636
20.141
30.623
42.573
46.016
59.741
147.943
156.692
159.987
162.024
147.587
419.750
517.965
550.990
534.037
550.488
632.165
696.978
734.027
767.891
807.406
31.118
77.120
244.457
249.508
288.737
79.177
103.700
116.535
133.009
128.576
30.017
29.754
28.514
30.670
34.912
1.237.640 1.168.212 1.052.002
954.362 1.069.462
10.549
16.935
24.480
43.900
104.235
6.469
8.780
23.289
36.864
64.544
2.003
2.852
3.004
3.158
3.243
3
1
14
35.877
42.610
41.866
48.152
48.765
38.732
43.828
49.928
82.730
161.511
73.504
81.356
120.926
215.408
233.458
28.700
43.550
56.800
73.300
92.770
10.828
13.828
20.081
22.606
23.499
58.706
49.999
49.992
51.186
90.206
444.902
510.761
553.888
561.530
622.762
202.827
214.120
225.785
222.100
222.738
679.631
741.174
695.620
690.047
608.952
472.055
547.111
641.214
766.062
996.096
4.538.726 4.868.288 5.048.107 5.080.162 5.286.957
5.010.781 5.415.399 5.689.321 5.846.224 6.283.053
2006
477.802
29.308
4.691
1.978
255.090
138.079
72.886
144.667
552.824
825.539
302.264
122.765
37.246
1.148.162
175.109
96.717
3.500
20
48.425
164.356
269.374
107.582
26.831
120.409
736.938
225.431
604.571
1.148.434
5.544.130
6.692.564
2007
482.337
32.627
13.646
2.323
293.650
141.463
79.531
148.760
557.133
865.336
279.895
106.785
41.122
1.150.253
173.464
120.418
3.380
2008
492.632
36.153
16.663
320.311
150.104
87.346
150.374
583.799
907.786
317.824
122.817
42.816
1.002.414
161.624
122.200
3.535
47.019
50.434
289.440
313.944
233.475
131.401
140.132
29.322
29.836
117.906
140.755
804.885 1.129.844
308.273
336.439
660.200
726.381
1.357.906 1.458.000
5.759.658 6.161.000
7.117.564 7.619.000
Eurostat (white cells)
Other sources have been utilised to complete time series (or replace Eurostat data) when data were considered consistent (grey cells), some of them are estimates.
2007 and 2008 EU-12, EU-15 and EU-27 agregates: 2007: MT = 2006; 2008: MT = 2006, CY and PT = 2007.
1993-1996 (and 1997 for AT, CZ, NL, UK and 1998 for CZ and IT) data from "Organic land area, farms, livestock and crop production", October 2000, FAI3-CT96-1794
1997: EU-CEE-OFP project except for CZ, DK, IT, HU, NL, FI and UK
Hrábalova et al. (2005): BG 1999 and 2000; PL 2000 and 2003, SI 1998-2000; LT 1997-2000; LV 1998-2000
Ekoconnect (www.ekoconnect.org): CZ (1999, 2000); EE, LV, SK and SI (1993-1995)
Austria: area include alpine pastures. 1998 and 1999: Eurostat data and AGRI estimate alpine pastures. 2000-2008: data communicated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry,
Environment and Water Management
Denmark: 1993-2007 data from the Ministry of Agriculture
Estonia: 1999-2004 data from statistical office (TAPAS report 2008)
Hungary 1993-2000 data from www.organic-europe.net (inspected holdings)
Latvia: 2004 and 2005 data communicated by the Ministry of Agriculture
Romania: 2000-2005 and 2007 data from the Ministry of Agriculture (without area for wild/forest picking)
Organic centre wales (http://www.organic.aber.ac.uk/statistics) for BG (2001-2005); SK and CZ (2001, 2002); CY, LV, LT, SI (2001-2003); LU (2005, 2006); MT (2003)
2008 EU-12, EU-15 and EU-27 agregates: estimates AGRI for missing data
68
Table 12. Number of organic producers in the EU
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovenia
Slovakia
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom
EU-12
EU-15
EU-27
Sources:
1993
9.713
160
1994
13.321
168
1995
18.542
193
1996
19.433
228
1997
19.996
317
1
1998
20.316
480
1
1999
18.768
577
2
141
640
50
1.599
3.231
5.091
165
67
238
4.656
187
676
60
1.818
3.556
5.866
469
73
198
8.597
176
1.050
119
2.793
3.538
6.642
568
108
378
10.630
168
1.166
100
4.452
3.854
7.353
1.065
127
696
17.279
203
1.617
70
4.458
4.935
8.184
2.523
161
808
30.701
12
12
19
20
106
23
306
2.228
76
4.984
6.233
9.194
4.183
330
762
38.616
39
144
26
473
3.099
89
5.197
8.668
10.425
4.923
451
972
47.705
63
171
28
455
180
73
512
246
234
561
263
349
656
238
240
746
324
278
835
417
542
1.004
555
740
20
40
753
1.507
655
25
41
909
1.695
715
30
34
1.042
2.473
828
35
45
2.161
2.741
865
40
46
3.526
2.833
1.026
41
81
7.392
3.027
1.462
343
69
11.812
3.540
2.538
28.948
38.746
49.606
62.209
81.971
100.280
119.996
2000
18.386
624
7
15
563
3.466
230
5.225
8.985
12.740
5.343
571
852
52.796
80
210
31
3
1.129
1.419
745
72
620
88
13.394
3.626
3.563
3.878
130.905
134.783
2001
18.292
697
11
30
654
3.525
369
4.983
10.364
14.703
6.710
764
918
56.199
219
293
49
20
1.219
1.787
938
109
883
82
15.607
5.268
4.049
5.221
143.521
148.742
2002
18.576
713
16
45
721
3.714
583
5.171
11.288
15.627
5.964
995
919
51.118
352
393
53
6
1.560
1.977
1.093
143
1.150
80
16.521
3.665
4.104
6.461
140.086
146.547
2003
19.674
671
54
45
832
3.510
764
5.074
11.359
16.476
6.186
1.289
786
43.928
550
700
59
6
1.448
2.286
1.145
207
1.421
88
17.028
3.562
4.012
8.242
134.918
143.160
2004
20.277
659
2005
20.321
720
159
842
3.166
810
4.960
11.059
16.603
9.282
1.420
840
36.955
1.043
1.178
66
1
1.383
3.760
1.379
305
835
3.036
1.016
4.631
11.402
17.020
15.669
1.553
957
44.860
2.873
1.802
74
6
1.377
7.183
1.577
1.555
117
16.013
4.726
4.321
1.724
195
15.261
3.019
4.263
131.689
144.187
2006
20.162
774
158
300
963
2.794
1.176
4.029
11.640
17.557
23.880
1.600
1.068
45.115
4.095
2.338
72
10
1.362
9.187
1.696
3.367
1.953
265
16.645
2.893
4.639
25.412
154.326
179.738
2007
19.997
825
240
2008
20.102
869
254
1.314
2.841
1.220
4.041
11.978
18.703
23.781
1.612
1.140
45.221
4.108
2.823
1.842
2.753
1.259
3.991
13.298
19.813
24.057
1.614
1.185
44.371
4.203
2.797
1.374
12.000
1.949
3.193
2.063
280
18.096
2.848
5.506
29.100
158.400
187.500
1.402
15.206
2.775
2.142
350
21.255
3.686
5.383
32.700
164.200
196.900
Eurostats data (white cells, 2008 provisional)
"Registered producers only" for Lithuania (2003-2008), Romania (2006-2008)
EU-12, EU-15 and EU-27: for 2007 CY, LU and MT = 2006; for 2008 CY, LU, MT = 2006 and PT = 2007
Other sources have been utilised to complete time series (or replace Eurostat data) when data were considered consistent (grey cells), some of them are estimates.
"Organic land area, farms, livestock and crop production", 2000, FAI3-CT96-1794 for 1993-1996 (all MS except DK, HU, PL) and 1997 (IE, EL, NL, UK) and 1997 and 1998 for CZ
1997: EU-CEE-OFP project except for CZ, DK, IT, HU, NL, FI and UK
Ekoconnect (www.ekoconnect.org): EE (1993-1998); SK and SI (1993-1999)
Hrábalova et al. (2005): BG (2000-2003); HU (1999, 2000); LT (1997-2000); LV (1998, 1999); RO (2000-2003)
Czech Republic: 1999-2002 Yearbook of organic farming
Denmark: 1993-1996 data from the Ministry of Agriculture
Estonia: 1999-2004 Statistics Estonia (FAPAS report 2008 to Eurostat)
Hungary 1993-2002 data from www.organic-europe.net (inspected holdings)
Poland: Szeremeta (2005) 1993-2002; GIJHARS for 2003, 2005 and 2006; AGRI estimate for 2007 and FAPA for 2008
Romania: Burja Camelia ("Implementing the European Community agricultural policy on sustainable farming in Romania") for 2006
Slovenia: 2007 and 2008 data communicated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food
Organic centre wales (http://www.organic.aber.ac.uk/statistics) for CY, LT (2000-2006); LV, SI (2000-2002; LU (2006); HU (2004-2006); SK (2000, 2001)
69
Comparison of areas and labour between organic and conventional farms by specialisation
types
All graphs in this section have been prepared on the basis of FSS data for 2007.
It has been highlighted in the text of the report that on average organic holdings tend to use
less labour per area than conventional holdings. Given that the size of organic holdings is on
average higher than in the conventional sector, in order to minimise the "size" effect, the
comparison has been carried out, at the overall sectoral level, for the same classes of
economic size. See Graph 41 below. This graph confirms that for holdings of similar
economic size, organic holdings tend to use less labour per ha than conventional holdings.
However, this is mainly true for categories of farms below 40 ESU. For larger size categories
the two types of holdings are at similar levels.
Graph 41. Comparison of labour per area between organic and conventional holdings by
economic size classes in 2007 (AWU / 100 ha)
35,0
30,0
25,0
20,0
Non organic
Organic
15,0
10,0
5,0
EU-12
EU-15
>= 250 ESU
100 - < 250 ESU
16 - < 40 ESU
40 - < 100 ESU
4 - < 8 ESU
8 - < 16 ESU
2 - < 4 ESU
1 - < 2 ESU
Total
< 1 ESU
>= 250 ESU
100 - < 250 ESU
16 - < 40 ESU
40 - < 100 ESU
4 - < 8 ESU
8 - < 16 ESU
2 - < 4 ESU
1 - < 2 ESU
Total
< 1 ESU
>= 250 ESU
100 - < 250 ESU
16 - < 40 ESU
40 - < 100 ESU
4 - < 8 ESU
8 - < 16 ESU
2 - < 4 ESU
< 1 ESU
1 - < 2 ESU
Total
0,0
EU-27
Source: Farm Structure Survey, elaboration AGRI
It needs to be stated that, as mentioned in the text of the report, the FSS is not stratified
according to the criteria organic / non organic, therefore the representativeness of organic data
is not guaranteed (e.g. average area could be skewed upwards by the presence in the sample
of a very large untypical organic farm, etc.). However, this caveat may distort some particular
results but should not affect the broad features underlined in the paper, i.e. that organic farms
tend to be larger and to use less labour than conventional farms. There is no reason to
consider that the non stratification would alter results always in the same way (by skewing
average areas upwards and labour use downwards).
70
It is also necessary to indicate that an organic holding may be classified in one of the
specialisation categories41 which does not correspond to the main orientation of its organic
production. For instance, a holding with organic permanent crops and conventional
horticultural crops may be classified under the specialisation type "specialist horticulture" if
the horticulture part of the activity of the farm is more important than the permanent crop one.
Hence, there may be biases in the comparison between organic and conventional sectors by
specialisation type. In order to limit this problem the following has been done:
•
For crop specialisations (field crop specialists, permanent crop specialists, horticulture
specialists and mixed croppings), holdings with organic animals have been excluded;
•
Similarly, for specialisations involving animals (grazing livestock specialists, granivore
specialists, mixed livestock and mixed crop-livestock), organic holding without organic
animals have been excluded (and for the mixed crops and livestock, holdings with organic
animals but no organic area have been excluded).
Although this may not solve all misallocations, this problem should not affect dramatically
the overall results as one can reasonably assume that an organic holding with a certain type of
specialisation produces primarily organic products in this specialisation.
1
Specialists field crops
Graph 42. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE
IE
Non organic farms
35
31 108 52
69
79
56
8
79
Organic farms
49
80 267 40
64
56
63
18 127 77
of which organic area
21
9
53
24
49
9
24
92
38
EL ES FR
51
36
50
IT
LT HU NL AT PL PT RO SK
FI
9
13
21
22
41
23
7
11
7
31
38 118 11
33
20
36
55
70 117 164 66
38
41
55
72 419 32
82 188 91
49
54
3
29
34
24
17
25 148 30
57
29
29
30
25
75
51
42
SE UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
CY LV
89
33
41
The classification used for the FSS is spelled out in details in Commission Regulation (EC) 1242/2008 of 8
December 2008 establishing a Community typology for agricultural holdings (Official Journal of the EU, L335
of 13 December 2008, p. 3).
71
Graph 43. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
16,0
14,0
12,0
10,0
8,0
6,0
4,0
2,0
0,0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE
IE
EL ES FR
IT
CY LV
LT HU NL AT PL PT RO SK
FI
SE UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic holdings 2,8 4,5 2,5 1,5 2,1 1,6 2,1 7,0 1,6 1,5 6,6 5,7 3,2 3,2 3,3 3,2 3,5 9,6 9,9 7,2 2,8 1,9 1,5 1,4 6,0 2,4 3,5
2,1 13,7 2,6 1,5 3,1 2,8 4,8 4,4 1,2 2,2 3,4 1,8 2,3 1,8 2,9 3,3 2,3 3,8 6,8 1,7 2,1 1,8 1,1 1,9 2,6 2,4 2,4
Organic holdings
2
Specialists horticulture
Graph 44. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
BE
DK
DE
IE
EL
ES
FR
Non organic farms
6
18
5
18
3
7
Organic farms
9
50
14
10
4
9
of which organic area
6
45
9
4
2
2
6
LT
HU
NL
PL
PT
FI
SE
UK
EU12
EU15
EU27
IT
LV
6
3
10
3
3
8
4
4
11
18
5
3
5
4
9
10
9
11
74
11
17
18
12
16
10
25
9
9
4
8
4
47
7
8
11
11
13
6
14
4
4
72
Graph 45. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
140,0
120,0
100,0
80,0
60,0
40,0
20,0
0,0
BE
DK
DE
EE
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
LV
LT
HU
NL
PL
PT
FI
SE
UK
EU12
EU15
EU27
Non organic holdings 47,6 37,6 83,2 29,8 13,9 55,5 38,0 59,8 51,7 28,2 42,2 42,5 73,2 45,9 54,9 24,6 11,7 68,8 52,2 50,7 51,1
35,6 11,5 38,8 25,0 15,0 54,5 33,6 48,0 34,2 11,1
Organic holdings
3
9,1
7,4 132,4 35,0 50,0 11,3 12,8 102,2 18,0 39,5 38,2
Specialists permanent crops
Graph 46. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE EL ES FR
IT
CY LV
LT HU NL AT PL PT RO SI
SK
FI
4
SE UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic farms
12
3
6
16
7
8
2
8
15
3
1
4
4
2
9
8
3
6
4
3
6
28
15
3
5
5
Organic farms
22
32
14
6
14
9
5
22
23
10
5
36
45
53
11
17
22
29
75
6
116 14
27
22
24
12
12
of which organic area
11
4
4
4
10
4
4
9
12
7
3
0
13
12
9
12
14
15
0
2
38
11
17
11
7
7
13
73
Graph 47. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
40,0
35,0
30,0
25,0
20,0
15,0
10,0
5,0
0,0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE EL ES FR
IT
CY LV
LT HU NL AT PL PT RO
SI
SK
FI
SE UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic holdings 21,2 36,2 21,4 18,0 25,4 16,3 22,6 8,0 13,7 21,1 32,0 13,5 11,6 30,4 36,7 12,9 32,6 17,7 13,7 29,4 16,5 19,4 5,4 15,4 26,5 14,3 15,4
20,5 23,9 24,6 16,7 19,7 6,2 16,5 4,8 16,0 12,6 24,1 11,1 8,6 8,1 31,3 7,8 6,6 8,0 16,7 21,1 9,5 8,9 4,6 9,7 9,1 10,2 10,1
Organic holdings
4
Specialists grazing livestock
Graph 48. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
1.800
1.600
1.400
1.200
1.000
800
600
400
200
0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE
39
58
IE
EL ES FR
LV
LT HU NL AT PL PT RO SI
SK
FI
SE UK
37
40
40
30
3
35
46
31
12
54
21
16
10
28
20
7
9
38
25
Organic farms
58
46 281 140 55
95
40
34 157 80
59
38
61 1.52 52
20
27 154 19
18 590 69 118 169 76
53
56
of which organic area
47
0
72
28
15
49
24
35 951 46
17
22 115
18 389 65 104 155 54
44
46
97
66
13
40
10
3
8
60
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic farms
229 124 49
45
IT
74
Graph 49. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
45,0
40,0
35,0
30,0
25,0
20,0
15,0
10,0
5,0
0,0
BE BG CZ DK DE EE
IE
EL ES FR
IT
LV
LT HU NL AT PL PT RO SI
SK
FI
SE UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic holdings 3,8 41,3 4,7 2,3 4,1 3,6 3,7 12,9 2,5 2,4 5,8 7,2 8,0 7,9 5,3 4,7 12,6 3,7 8,1 15,4 4,9 4,5 2,7 2,0 10,2 3,3 4,4
2,2 5,6 1,6 1,6 2,8 1,8 2,8 5,0 1,1 2,2 3,2 4,6 3,1 0,7 4,0 5,8 7,1 1,3 7,2 7,8 2,0 3,2 1,8 1,3 2,9 2,9 2,9
Organic holdings
5
Specialists granivores
Graph 50. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
DK
DE
EL
ES
FR
IT
LV
NL
AT
PL
SE
UK
Non organic farms
95
38
2
21
21
17
8
8
15
6
46
11
EU-15
21
Organic farms
48
29
7
163
19
62
7
9
12
17
48
56
31
of which organic area
18
23
5
59
4
20
5
6
11
12
38
49
18
75
Graph 51. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
80,0
70,0
60,0
50,0
40,0
30,0
20,0
10,0
0,0
6
DK
DE
EL
ES
FR
IT
LV
NL
AT
PL
PT
SE
UK
Non organic holdings
3,5
5,1
69,2
8,4
10,2
13,4
37,1
24,4
8,0
16,0
35,6
4,8
10,8
EU-15
8,7
Organic holdings
5,3
10,7
25,3
1,6
9,1
8,1
15,4
24,6
9,7
10,1
27,8
3,6
14,7
7,8
Mixed cropping
Graph 52. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
EE
EL
ES
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
HU
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
FI
SE
UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
BE
CZ
DK
DE
Non organic farms
33
146
57
51
8
4
28
33
7
5
8
5
5
33
32
6
5
3
3
31
73
47
4
13
6
Organic farms
51
628
39
39
20
10
70
28
23
12
23
34
577
44
35
25
50
6
7
23
50
71
41
30
32
of which organic area
6
33
35
21
12
4
17
13
14
3
12
11
65
36
28
11
13
2
4
20
26
33
10
12
12
76
Graph 53. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
40,0
35,0
30,0
25,0
20,0
15,0
10,0
5,0
0,0
BE
CZ
DK
DE
Non organic holdings 5,8 4,3
2,7
4,1 10,8 17,7 3,8
3,9 5,6
Organic holdings
7
EE
EL
ES
3,9 12,4 5,0 11,9 2,6
FR
IT
CY
LV
LT
HU
NL
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
FI
SE
UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
4,6 12,4 18,3 9,2 10,7 14,6 8,7 3,6 19,9 24,6 22,0 24,9 4,4
2,0 7,2 18,4 7,9 12,9
8,8
2,3 9,9
7,0 18,9 4,3 3,8
4,5
8,5 2,9 6,2 5,5 16,0 35,9 6,1
5,6
5,6
5,6
Mixed livestock
Graph 54. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
BE
CZ
DK
DE
EE
EL
ES
FR
IT
LV
LT
HU
NL
AT
PL
PT
SI
SE
UK
EU12
EU- EU15
27
Non organic farms
32
73
112
48
12
8
32
44
16
10
6
2
22
15
8
13
5
54
24
3
26
5
Organic farms
47
290
71
78
31
21
140
44
58
23
31
11
38
17
12
134
10
125
97
19
57
39
of which organic area
32
213
64
74
23
11
38
28
40
14
15
10
22
15
9
40
10
109
73
11
38
25
77
Graph 55. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
40,0
35,0
30,0
25,0
20,0
15,0
10,0
5,0
0,0
8
EL
CZ
DK
DE
EE
Non organic holdings
5,2
5,2
2,2
3,7
8,5 13,7 4,3
3,2
9,9 10,7 13,0 37,0 7,8
6,9 18,2 11,1 34,4 20,9 15,7 2,6
4,6 25,0 5,3 16,9
Organic holdings
2,1
1,7
2,1
3,2
4,0
3,8
5,0
8,3 16,5 2,3 19,9 16,0 2,4
4,1
8,1
ES
2,1
FR
IT
LV
LT
6,5
HU
NL
4,1 18,2 7,9
AT
PL
PT
RO
SI
SK
SE
2,0
UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
BE
8,4
4,0
5,0
Mixed crops and livestock
Graph 56. Average UAA of organic and conventional holdings and average organic area in
organic holdings (ha) in 2007
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
BE
CZ
Non organic farms
41
Organic farms
61
of which organic area
36
DK
DE
EE
200 79
74
33
50
7
42
76
12
16
12
391 53
105 82
42
31
142
88
50
47
70
272 45
92
38
19
31
74
42
32
38
345 30
58
IE
EL
ES
FR
IT
LV
LT
HU
NL
AT
PL
PT
7
27
23
7
456 40
32
18
25
15
148
FI
SE
UK
43
50
114
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
SI
SK
13
6
35
5
42
11
250
14 628
85 132 178 56
79
72
14 456
80 113 146 39
63
56
78
Graph 57. Employment of labour per area (AWU / 100 ha, 2007)
30,0
25,0
20,0
15,0
10,0
5,0
0,0
BE CZ DK DE EE
IE
EL
ES FR
IT
LV
LT
HU NL
AT
PL
PT RO
SI
SK
FI
SE UK
EU- EU- EU12 15 27
Non organic holdings 3,2 3,7 1,8 2,5 4,0 2,6 12,8 3,0 2,0 9,8 6,5 7,0 10,2 5,4 4,6 15,7 9,6 24,3 16,7 5,0 3,2 2,0 1,8 14,6 3,2 7,8
2,7 1,6 2,3 2,0 1,8 3,0 5,3 1,2 2,0 4,3 3,9 2,8 2,9 6,5 4,1 10,1 0,9 5,6 9,2 1,2 2,5 1,3 1,6 3,8 2,4 2,7
Organic holdings
79
Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN)
The FADN is a European system of sample surveys which are implemented each year
and collect structural and accountancy of farms. The aim is to monitor the income and
business activities of agricultural holdings and to assess the impacts of the CAP. The
FADN survey covers only farms exceeding a minimum economic size in order to cover
the most relevant part of the agricultural activity in each EU Member State, i.e. at least
the 90% of the total Standard Gross Margin (SGM) covered in the Farm Structure
Survey (FSS). For 2007, the sample amounts to approximately 78 000 holdings in the
EU-27, which represents 5.4 mio farms out of a total of about 14 mio farms (39%)
covered by the FSS. Organic farming is identified in the FADN since 2000 but it should
be underlined that the current methodology applied for farm selection and their
weighting does not target the organic farming class (i.e. the farming methods "organic" /
"non organic" are not stratification criteria). This entails that the representativeness of
the organic data is not guaranteed and the results should therefore be interpreted
with caution. In addition, the coverage of rural development measures is lower in some
Member States (in particular Greece, Italy and Spain), see Commission 2009. The
analysis below is carried out on the period 2000-2006 at the EU level.
80

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